AL-ASKARI--Salah, MD, MS, F.A.C.S. November 16, 1929 - March 12, 2020. Salah Al-Askari, passed away on March 12, 2020. After graduating with top honors from the Royal College of Medicine in Baghdad, Iraq, he completed his urologic training at New York University (NYU), Bellevue Medical Center in 1957 and joined the faculty in 1958. As Professor of Urology, he trained hundreds of urology residents and dedicated his career to providing medical care to under-privileged New Yorkers. He became the first Director of Urology at Bellevue and held that post for over 30 years where he oversaw the expansion of the department in the field of reconstructive surgery and endourology. Dr. Al-Askari established the Chronic Hemodialysis Unit, co-directed the Renal Transplantation Program, and performed the first successful cadaveric kidney transplant in 1967; this patient is one of the longest living survivors of this procedure. The Journal of Immunobiology selected a jointly authored article on his research as one of its seminal 100 articles for the past 100 years. As a career scientist of the Health Research Council of the City of New York, his studies led to the discovery of the first lymphokine: the migration inhibitory factor, (MIF). For this work, the NIH appointed him to the Immunobiology Study Section where he served two terms as chairman. The New York Academy of Medicine honored him at its 150th anniversary celebration with the Urology Section Award. Dr. Al-Askari served as the NYU School of Medicine's Faculty Council President from 1994-1997 and chaired its Benefit and Tenure Committee for over 15 years. From 1989-1990, he served as the President of the NYU Faculty Council for the entire university. In 2002, he was appointed Director of Faculty Liaison in recognition of his dedication to the welfare of the faculty. Dr. Al-Askari was a prominent leader in the tristate Islamic communities. He served on the board of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York and was instrumental in establishing the 96th Street mosque. Dr. Al-Askari served on the medical board of ANERA and dedicated his life to providing medical services for the underprivileged around the world. Salah came from an illustrious Iraqi family of politicians and ambassadors and lectured frequently on his native country. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Catherine, his daughters Laila, Yasamin, and Mariam (Diehl), son-in-law Scott, and grandsons Ibrahim and Omar (Jacobs) and Quinlan (Diehl). In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to American Near East Refugee Association (ANERA.org) 1111 14th Street NW, #400, Washington, DC 20005.
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Published in New York Times on Mar. 22, 2020.