KEITH NOLOP
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NOLOP--Keith Bradley,

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.


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Published in New York Times on Jun. 5, 2016.
Memories & Condolences
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11 entries
November 17, 2017
It is a shock to learn of Keith's tragic death. I was looking him up on-line to invite him to ski again at Lake Tahoe. Keith was a good friend to my husband, Mario Curzi, and me from Vanderbilt Medical School. Mario taught him to sail in Tennessee, then we enjoyed a fabulous trip in the Florida Keys. As with everything else, Keith was a quick study, and soon had the sailboat racing along with it's rail in the water. He was the kind of friend that remained close despite years and distance. He leaned on Mario upon the tragic death of Sonia. There Is a huge gap in our hearts at learning of Keith's passing. His family can be proud to have raised such a fine man. It was a privilege to call him friend. Rest In Peace, Keith. You will be missed. Laurel-Rose Von Hoffmann-Curzi, Orinda, CA
February 10, 2017
The note by Richard Lee really captures the Keith Nolop I knew. I could not have expressed it better. The thought of two tragedies in one home seems unimaginable to me. Keith and Sonia were a perfect match and it is very sad their lives were cut short. There was so much more ahead for both Keith and Sonia. They were true soul mates.
Reid Farrill
February 2, 2017
It's a new year and I've been reflecting back on the past year. I got to know Keith Nolop very well because I had the fortune to work with him on developing an important drug for advanced melanoma patients. There was another Keith on the team, so I always called him by his full name, Keith Nolop. At the time the drug was approved, melanoma patients had very few options ad these options were not good. So when we saw a patient with metastatic melanoma get up from a wheelchair and go to work after taking the medication for only about a month, we couldn't be happier.
Personally, I shared many dinners with Keith. Meeting after meeting, all over the globe, we often had the chance to sit and talk. He loved biking, hiking, swimming, skiing, just about anything out doors. We worked long hours; so, the opportunity didn't occur often; but, if he had free time, he was out and about. The announcement of his death surprised me, especially because he was careful in all his outdoor activities. He recently had lost his fiancé to a snorkeling accident, and he was just getting over this personal grief.
Keith loved his cats and talked about them all the time. I remember him describing how he would play with his cat, which he said acted a lot like a dog in its attention seeking and loyalty. His face would light up when we talked about our pets.
The last time I spoke to Keith was just a few weeks before the accident. We talked about his retirement, the joys of out-door activities, and how much he missed drug development. He said he thought that he had enough energy to "do one more", to move science forward just one more time before he really, retired.
I will miss him. May he rest in peace. He will be in my prayers. Friend and colleague, Richard
Richard Lee
December 5, 2016
I was one of the professors at the University of South Dakota biology departmentlucky to have Keith as an undergraduate student.
I still remember discussing the effects of exercise on the heart with him outside of class, yes I was a big fan of bicycle riding.I wish I could have had a conversation with him in the last few years. He will serve as my ideal student as I move beyond my 81 years.
James Heisinger
October 29, 2016
Very sad to hear of Keith's death. My condolences to all his family. Tuck Nolop, Cousin
October 7, 2016
Keith was a great friend. I have many happy memories of our time together as we traveled around the world. Keith will be missed by all who knew him. RIP
Reid Farrill
September 5, 2016
I have fond memories of my time working and traveling with Keith. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. He did occasionally get the club face on the golf ball at the Millburn golf course. Rest in peace.
David Grewcock
June 30, 2016
Keith, I am sad to find out the news of your passing. It was a pleasure teaching you bass guitar and we (the Ooks of Hazzard) enjoyed playing your raging July house party. I hope your playing some roots with Bob Marley and the big reggae band in the sky. RIP my friend!!
Patrick (PJ) Hildebrand
June 11, 2016
I was shocked and am deeply sad about Keith's death and the death of his fiance. Keith and I had an interesting classmate relationship that did and always will make me smile. You are remembered.
Susan (Grow) McConnell
June 11, 2016
Keith was a great friend and colleague. We will all miss him. - Mel Affrime
June 9, 2016
Keith was a special brilliant kid and was a honor growing up with him and his very special family. While he was not athletic, he certainly fit in with everyone and was always willing to go the extra mile to help someone. My life was better growing up and knowing Keith Nolop
Ed Gerrish, M.D.
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