Remembering Dr. Robert “Bob” Luedtke 

Dr. Bob Luedtke News Story

Robert “Bob” Luedtke Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology and Neuroscience in the School of Biomedical Sciences, and pioneer in the research of dopaminergic pathways in the brain, passed away on Sunday, March 19.  

Dr. Luedtke received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia and did postdoctoral studies in immunogenetics at the Institute for Cancer Research at the Fox Chase Cancer Center. Dr. Luedtke was recruited to join the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine faculty in 1992 as an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology. He was promoted to associate professor in 1997 and full professor of Pharmacology and Neuroscience in 2003. 

He is remembered for his contributions to science through his research and dedication to his students as a teacher and mentor. He was a supportive colleague who was passionate, friendly and funny.  

“Bob was an inspiring and talented person,” said Michael Forster, Ph.D., regents professor of Pharmacology of Neuroscience and longtime colleague and friend to Dr. Luedtke. “He was very much willing to share his expertise and never asked for anything in return.” 

“He was a role model for us because he stood up for the faculty, and he was a great advocate for students.” 

Dr. Luedtke was dedicated to his research in molecular pharmacology and neurobiology and was well-funded by NIH and private research foundations like the Michael J. Fox Foundation throughout his career. His work was focused on finding new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease and the study of dopaminergic pathways in the brain. 

Luedtke Playing Piano 2

“He had some significant scientific achievements and was a pioneer in identifying certain types of dopamine receptors and describing their functions,” Forster said. 

“Some of the treatments he helped develop through his drug discovery program are still in the pipeline today.”  

His career was filled with notable highlights, including a 2004 Fulbright Scholar Award in Molecular Neurobiology, which allowed him to work at the Institut de Neurobiologie Alfred Fessard at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Gif-sur Yvette, France. He was honored in 2017 with the UNTHSC Academic Commendation for Excellence. 

As a steadfast supporter of our students, he contributed significantly to the training and mentorship of numerous Ph.D. and M.S. students in SBS and offered undergraduate and medical students summer research opportunities. 

Outside of work, Dr. Luedtke was known as an incredible musician and pianist. He was always ready to play as “Bob Luke” Luedtke with the Outer Circles jazz band. The Outer Circles performed at Buttons Restaurant, The Modern, Lily’s Bistro, Main Street Art Festival and more. The band even played events here at HSC. Their album, “Omnia,” is available on Amazon. His other hobbies included renovating houses with his wife, Kathy.  

Dr. Luedtke made an immeasurable impact on HSC and his field. He will be greatly missed. 

Dr. Robert Luedtke Memorial Scholarship 

The family of Dr. Robert Luedtke has established a memorial scholarship in his name so that his impact on science and education can continue. 

Please consider a donation to the Dr. Robert Luedtke Memorial Scholarship fund which will award scholarships to deserving students at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. 

To make a gift in memory of Dr. Luedtke 

To give online: 

  1. Visit 
  2. Under “Give to Student Scholarships 
  3. Select the Designation: “UNTHSC School of Biomedical Sciences Memorial Scholarship” from the drop-down list. 
  4. Under “Tribute Gift,” 
  5. Check the box: “This gift is in honor, or memory of someone
  6. Select “In Memory of” and  
  7. Type “Dr. Robert Luedtke 

Proceed filling out the form with gift information. 

To mail a check: 

  1. Please write your check out to “UNTHSC Foundation.” In memo line please write “In Memory of Dr. Robert Luedtke 
  2. Please mail your check to the address below: 

UNTHSC Institutional Advancement
Attn: Taryn Houghton
3500 Camp Bowie Blvd.
Fort Worth, TX 76107

If you have questions about the donation process, please contact Taryn Houghton in the HSC Office of Institutional Advancement.

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