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Henrik Lykke Ewald (1958Ц2004).

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American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B (Neuropsychiatric Genetics) 135B:1 (2005)
Obituary
Henrik Lykke Ewald (1958–2004)
Henrik Ewald, psychiatrist and research scientist, died of
cancer last year.
Henrik trained in medicine at Aarhus University and
qualified in 1987. He immediately went into psychiatry and
was recruited to the Institute for Psychiatric Demography in
Aarhus. Henrik defended his thesis entitled ‘‘Linkage analysis
between bipolar affective disorder and autosomal candidate
genes and regions’’ in 1997 and in 2002 he was appointed professor in molecular psychiatric genetics at Aarhus University.
To those who knew him he was an effervescent, iconoclastic,
highly creative force for good in the field of psychiatric genetics
and in psychiatry as a whole. Henrik possessed a high level of
scientific acumen and thought clearly about the problems of
psychiatric research. He was fiercely enthusiastic and optimistic about psychiatric genetics research and was convinced
that the genetic approach was the way forward to the understanding of the fundamental causes of schizophrenia and
bipolar disorder. Henrik generated enthusiasm around him
and his energy was contagious. He was therefore a great
leader. Together with Aksel Bertelsen and others he was
responsible for once more making Aarhus an international
center for psychiatric genetics. By the time of his death, his
contributions were in full swing and starting to pay off. He had
developed projects in Denmark, the Faroes and Cuba. Each of
these exemplified a different approach, consisting of large
affected pedigrees, a genetic isolate and homozygosity mapping. Another major field of study was to look for association of
diseases with cytogenetic abnormalities at the population level
across the whole of Denmark. Henrik’s most recent success was
the fine-mapping and sequencing of a susceptibility locus for
bipolar disorder on chromosome 12. The position of the gene
DOI 10.1002/ajmg.b.30178
ß 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
had been deduced from his understanding of previous linkage
studies, from association mapping in the Faroes and from a
Danish case-control sample. Sadly he did not live to see this
breakthrough published and developed further.
Henrik never lost sight of the importance of personal
relationships and it seemed that he felt more strongly and
grasped life at an intellectual and emotional level more than
most of us. Henrik had learned the joys of good food and wine
from his parents, and with friends and colleagues there were
gastronomical expeditions in cities around Europe and further
afield. He had a knack for finding out the best restaurant in
town. Meals would generally end with a 1968 Armagnac to
celebrate the events of that year. Latterly Henrik had become
an avid lover of Cuban music, a happy coincidence because he
was often visiting Cuba to lead the Cuban psychiatric genetics
revolution! He was a film buff with great knowledge and zest
who loved the emotional and political symbolism in film and
was a fascinating and original interpreter of culture. Henrik’s
young children, the two Emma’s, Mathilde and Mads and his
wife Marianne have lost an irrepressible and dedicated father
and husband. He chose to be buried in the suit he wore at his
wedding to Marianne. His mother and father have had to
endure the worst type of bereavement. Yet we should be
enormously grateful for having such a special person as Henrik
in our field for as long as we did. His energy will live on in
Aarhus and in all of those who were touched by him.
Ole Mors
Douglas Blackwood
Hugh Gurling
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