Richard D. Todd, Ph.D., M.D., the Blanche F. Ittleson Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine died on August 22, 2008. He was 56. The cause of death was B-cell lymphoma.
Dr. Todd did his undergraduate training at Vanderbilt University, then earned a Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Texas at Dallas, his M.D. at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and completed his residency in Psychiatry at Stanford University Medical School. He then completed a Child Psychiatry Fellowship at Washington University and St. Louis Children’s Hospital in 1986, and joined the faculty of the School of Medicine.
For almost 25 years, Dr. Todd devoted his life to providing a sensible lens through which the fields of neuroscience could view child psychiatric illness. In doing so, he contributed greatly to the understanding of genetic and environmental influences on these serious childhood disorders. He and his colleagues published more than 150 highly regarded peer-reviewed papers. These papers addressed topics including diagnostic clarity, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and childhood affective disorders as well as philosophical considerations of how the field of child psychiatry might best be advanced. His collaborators include a list of the best minds in basic neuroscience, neuroimaging, molecular and behavioral genetics. He will be remembered by his peers for his sharp intellect, his incredible creativity, and his ability to design experiments that answered the field’s most important questions. In addition to being a basic laboratory scientist, he was also an outstanding author, clinician and teacher. He mentored a number of the best young scientists in the field of child psychiatry, many of whom are in leadership positions today.
His kindness extended beyond his teaching as he selflessly shared with and supported his trainees to assure their development in order to cement the future of neuroscience in child psychiatry. He will be missed by many for all of these characteristics.
Over the course of his short career Dr. Todd was the recipient of many of the field’s most important awards and honors including being listed in America's Top Doctors from 2001 and in Best Doctors in America from 2002. He served on many editorial boards, research society committees, and review panels. He was clearly thought of as one of the most important thinkers in modern child neuropsychiatry.
Dr. Todd is survived by his wife of 28 years, Dr. Karen O’Malley, his son Lucas F. Todd and his daughter Anne M. O’Malley of St. Louis, MO. Dr. Todd was deeply devoted to Karen and his two wonderful children. He is also survived by his parents, Morris S. and Martha A. (Molly) Todd of Dallas and Tincup, Colorado, his brother Robert M. Todd of Dallas and his sister Ruth E. Todd of Bellevue, Washington.
In lieu of flowers contributions are suggested to the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Care of Cindy Smith, Executive Director of Psychiatry, Campus Box 8134, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid, St. Louis, MO 63110 or the CHADS (Communities Healing Adolescent Depression & Suicide) Coalition, P.O. Box 510528, St. Louis, MO 63151.