We are deeply saddened to report that Charles Conrad, M.D., our friend, colleague and a brilliant neuro-oncologist passed away last Saturday May 28th, 2016 after suffering an injury at home a few days prior. Charlie's sudden and tragic death comes as a shock to his many friends and collaborators around the world.
Charlie was born on June 12, 1961 to Dr. Fred G. Conrad and Ann Wright Conrad in San Antonio, TX. He graduated from Texas A&M University and then received his Medical Degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston in 1988. Following his neurology residency at UT Houston, he later completed his Neuro-Oncology fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1994. Charlie briefly joined the MDACC faculty in 1994, then returned to MD Anderson in 2000 as an Associate Professor in the Department of Neuro-Oncology. Through the years he rose to the rank of Professor of Neuro-Oncology. He also served as Medical Director of the Brain and Spine Center and Director of Clinical Operations for the Neuro-Oncology Department. During his career, Charlie received many awards and honors including from the American Cancer Society, as well being named to Best Doctors in America many years running. In 2015, Charlie left MD Anderson to further his clinical work and research at The Austin Brain Tumor Center, the brain tumor hub for Texas Oncology.
Charlie was widely known for his creativity and scope of knowledge, often combining his in-depth understanding of basic science with his expertise in tumor biology. As a result, Charlie's career is highlighted by his broad interests in basic, translational and clinical research. This has led to his numerous contributions including achievements in the areas of oncolytic viral therapy, CNS-active anthracyclines, glioma cell metabolism and glycolysis, angiogenesis, and invasion, and immuno-modulation. Charlie held numerous issued or pending US patents relating to tumor DNA synthesis, oncolytic viral therapy, tumor glycolysis, and immuno-oncology. As a teacher, Charlie mentored and guided dozens of medical residents and fellows in his years as faculty in neuro-oncology. These students now share their insights in venues all over the world. Because of his depth of knowledge and unique intellect, Charlie was an invited speaker at conferences and symposia worldwide.
Charlie is survived by his devoted wife, Kim; his son Zane; daughters Hayley and Kirsten; and a large extended family.
Charles Conrad was a gifted physician-scientist who used his unique talents of intelligence and creativity to improve the lives of brain cancer sufferers. To his friends and colleagues, he was also a cordial, funny, warm and trusted counselor and collaborator with consistently creative and sound suggestions on how to better do our work. He is truly an irreplaceable human being and will be deeply missed by all.
In memory of Dr. Charles Conrad, contributions can be made to MD Anderson Cancer Center, PO Box 4486, Houston, TX 77210-4486. If sending a check, please make sure to note this gift is in memory of Dr. Conrad. For online gifts, please visit www.mdanderson.org/gifts and select the "Give in Memory" tab. Under the billing information you will see a check box indicating you would like to choose where donations go, please select, then select fund designated by family.