died on May 31, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA from head injuries sustained in a tragic bicycle accident. He was 63. Dr. Nolop had a distinguished career of over 25 years in drug development from conception to approval with a focus on allergy, asthma, and cancer products. His work included the blockbuster drug Nasonex, a groundbreaking melanoma treatment, and highly-engineered cancer therapies. He also was the author of over 50 peer-reviewed articles and the recipient of several patents. Born in Minneapolis, MN in 1953, he moved with his family to Mobridge, SD in 1960, where he enjoyed a typical small town boyhood full of activities and games. However, he was not particularly athletic and from an early age, evinced an extraordinary interest in science and math. Rather than play with new toys, he was more likely to take them apart, just to see how they worked. Always a model student, he earned perfect grades from elementary school through college - a rare feat in the days before grade inflation. In high school he was an Eagle Scout, first chair baritone in All-State Band, a representative to Boy's State (where he captured first place in the comprehensive written examination), and the state's highest scorer in the National Merit Scholar competition. He graduated as top student in the Mobridge High School Class of 1971. He studied biology at the University of South Dakota, where he was Editor of the school newspaper (the Volante) and a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1975. His next stop was Vanderbilt University School of Medicine where, true to form, he was honored as first in his class. After receiving his Doctor of Medicine, he began a career in medical research and drug development, starting with a stint at the University of Louisville. Dr. Nolop spent over 11 years with Schering-Plough and then 13 years as Chief Medical Officer for three successful biotechnology companies: CoTherix, Plexxikon, and Kite Pharma. In recent years he was an independent consultant. Keith loved skiing, hiking (especially Yosemite), wine tasting, Latin music, international travel, movies, and playing the bass guitar. He also was active in animal rights organizations. Never married, he was engaged to Sonia Jimenez in 2011; but in another unspeakable tragedy, his betrothed drowned while they were vacationing in Costa Rica. After Sonia's death, Keith provided financial support and life advice to her adopted children, Roberto Jose Tercero and Martha Karina Tercero of San Francisco, CA. He is survived by his mother, Barbara Nolop, of Peoria, AZ; brothers Bruce (Susan) Nolop of New York, NY and Neil (Hege) Nolop of Houston, TX; and nephews Christopher, Michael, Andre, and Nathan Nolop. He was preceded in death by his father, Francis Nolop, in 2008.
Published in New York Times on Jun. 5, 2016.