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Dr. P. Michael Conneally

1931 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Dr.  P. Michael Conneally Obituary
Dr. P. Michael Conneally

was born in Ballygar, Co. Galway, Ireland on December 4, 1931. He attended University College Dublin on scholarship and graduated with honors in 1954 with a bachelor's degree in Agriculture. Following graduation, he worked as an agriculture instructor in western Ireland advising farmers. He obtained a master's degree at the University College Dublin and then traveled to the United States to obtain further education. Arriving in 1958 at University of Wisconsin, he graduated with his Master's and Ph. D. in Medical Genetics in 1962.While in Wisconsin, Dr. Conneally met Mary Stuhlmueller and they were married in 1962 by Mary's cousin, Father Carroll Stuhlmueller C.P.

After a postdoctoral fellowship at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, he joined Indiana University School of Medicine in 1964. Approximately two years after arriving in Indiana, the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics was created with Dr. Conneally as one of the first professors in the department. His primary area of research was to identify genes contributing to disease. Over his 50 year research career his major research interests included the study of Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Alcoholism, Diabetes, and psychiatric illness. In collaboration with researchers from Columbia University and Harvard University, he was the first to use DNA techniques to map a human gene. In the past twenty years he has helped map approximately 20 human genes and his work has resulted in the identification of 20% of the human genome.

Dr. Conneally served as a member of numerous national committees in his area of expertise and as an editor of five scientific journals and as a reviewer for eighteen scientific journals. He was past president of the American Society of Human Genetics and the Secretary General of the World Federation of Neurology's Huntington's disease Section. In 1983, he played a major role in locating a genetic marker linked to Huntington's disease on chromosome 4; making Huntington's disease the first genetic disease mapped using DNA polymorphisms. He went on to participate in research that led to the location of the actual gene that causes Huntington's disease in 1993. In 2001, he received the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2005 was named a Top 15 Irish-American Life Scientist of the Year. He served as an expert witness in numerous criminal trials involving DNA, including the O.J. Simpson trial. He served as a member of the World Trade Center and Hurricane Katrina DNA Identification Committees. In 1991, he was awarded an honorary degree from Trinity College, Dublin and Dr. Conneally became a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 2005 at Indiana University School of Medicine.

He was a member of St. Pius X Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus and the Ancient Order of the Hibernians.

Mike is survived by his wife of 54 years: Mary "Stuhlmueller" Conneally, children: Nicholas (JJ) Conneally and Ann (Mike), brothers: John and Denis Conneally and 3 grandchildren: Marisa Conneally and Rory and Declan Dudgeon. Mike was preceded in death by his brother: Tommie Joe and sister: Breege O'Roarke.

Visitation will be Tuesday, February 21, from 4 - 8 p.m. at Feeney-Hornak Keystone Mortuary. Mass of Christian Burial will be Wednesday, February 22, at 12:00 p.m. in St. Pius X Catholic Church with visitation from 10:00 a.m. until time of Mass. Contributions may be made to the Huntington's Disease Society of America - , St. Vincent de Paul Society or Muscular Dystrophy - Condolences may also be offered at
Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Feb. 19, 2017
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