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Louis A. Gottschalk, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior

UC Irvine

1916 – 2008


Louis A Gottschalk, M.D., a pioneering neuroscientist, Distinguished Professor and University benefactor, passed away at his home on November 27, 2008. He received his B.A. and M.D. from Washington University. He had an internship in Medicine and Residency in Neuropsychiatry in Barnes and McMillan Hospitals and post-graduate training in electrophysiology in the Neurology Department at Washington University. Following this, he served as Director of the EEG Laboratory, US Public Health Service, Fort Worth, Texas. He subsequently held a Research Psychiatrist position at the NIMH with the rank of Commander in the US Public Health Service (1951-53), From1953-1967; he was appointed Associate Professor and later Research Professor and Director of Research at the College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati.


He received training at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis and the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute and was certified by the American Psychoanalytic Association in Adult, Child, and Adolescent psychoanalysis.


He received many honors and awards including the American Psychiatric Association’s Hofheimer Award (1955); USPHS Research Career Award, NIMH (1961) and the Distinguished Research Award from the University of California Irvine (UCI) (1974).


He was Professor and Founding Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine (1967-80). Dr. Gottschalk made national headlines in the late 1980s when he concluded that President Reagan suffered from cognitive brain impairment as early as his first term, years before the late President was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He reached this conclusion using the famed Gottschalk-Gleser Scales, a diagnostic tool he helped invent, that charted impairments in brain function. To prevent the politicization of his findings, Dr. Gottschalk delayed releasing his results until near the end of President Reagan’s second term. Ever the innovator, Professor Gottschalk later converted the time consuming Gottschalk-Gleser Scales into easy-touse computer software. That program assesses cognitive impairment as well as anger, depression and anxiety.


Dr. Gottschalk greatly enhanced the neurobiological understanding of schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, addiction, violent behavior and hyperactivity. In recognition of his many contributions, including a $1.5 million gift in 1997 to create the Louis A. and Helen C. Gottschalk, Endowed Fund in the School of Medicine, he `was awarded the UCI Medal (the highest honor given at UCI, 1997). Dr. Gottschalk was a prolific writer, publishing numerous books and scientific articles. He left an indelible mark as a researcher, teacher and philanthropist.


William E. Bunney, Jr., M.D.

Distinguished Professor and Della Martin Chair of Psychiatry

University of California, Irvine