Matilda B. Melnick, MD, PhD
|Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Area:Virology; biochemistry; psychiatry
Dr. Matilda Benyesh Melnick passed away peacefully on July 19, 2020 at her residence in Houston, Texas. Dr. Melnick was born on February 7, 1926 in Russe, Bulgaria. She earned her medical degree from Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School in 1952. After serving as a pediatrician in the Israeli army, Dr. Melnick moved to the United States to study virology at Yale University, where she met her late husband, Joseph L. Melnick, PhD. In 1958, they moved to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas where they worked side by side for decades. Dr. Melnick, made significant contributions to the fields of virology, microbiology, and oncology before beginning a second career as a psychiatrist in 1976. She continued to serve as a mentor to generations of students in both virology and psychiatry. In her spare time, she was an avid supporter of the arts, including fine arts, ballet, and theater. She was a generous philanthropist to organizations supporting medical research in the US and Israel, as well as programs that provided access to medical care and the arts for all people. She received numerous academic and service awards, including the Maimonides Award for outstanding service to the Jewish community and was a lifelong advocate for social justice.