Saturday, September 19, 2020


Robert T. Malison



Robert T. Malison, age 60, passed away peacefully on July 25 at his home in Guilford. Bob was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Dr. Robert and the late Colleen Malison.

He grew up in Caldwell, Idaho, where he developed his love for nature and passion for the outdoors. After graduating from Caldwell High School, Bob’s adventurous spirit led him to school on the East Coast. Bob graduated from Williams College in 1982 with a BA in chemistry, and subsequently enrolled at Yale Medical School. While a first year student at Yale, Bob met his best friend, and future wife, Eugenia (Jean) Vining. After completing their third year of medical school, Bob and Jean married in a nuptial Mass at Mount St. Dominic Chapel in Caldwell, New Jersey, near Jean’s hometown.

The couple graduated together from Yale Medical School in 1987. Bob remained at Yale for residency training in the Clinical Neuroscience Research Training Program in psychiatry. Following the completion of an Addiction Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, Bob returned to Yale to join the faculty and serve as a professor in the Department of Psychiatry for more than two decades.

At the time of this death, Bob was director of the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit of the Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities of the Connecticut Mental Health Center. He was leader of the Neuroscience Research Training Program, the neuroscience research track of the Yale Psychiatry Residency. He also led the Integrated Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Training (IMPORT) in Psychiatry and an addiction training grant based in Thailand while concurrently being principal investigator on two independent project grants (RO1s).

Bob was a consummate clinician and scientist, with a three-decade career of groundbreaking research into the neurobiology, genetics, and treatment of substance abuse disorders. His body of work has helped countless patients, friends, family members, students, and colleagues, and his legacy will continue through all those who were touched by Bob and inspired by his work.

Bob was a beloved mentor to a generation of research-oriented psychiatrists at Yale, with many of his mentees now leading prestigious programs across the world. His students and colleagues, and many of his students who became colleagues, will miss his infectious laugh, his voracious intellect, his self-deprecating but incisive questions, and his fundamental kindness and generosity.

Bob was a dedicated and selfless person, both in his professional and personal life. He was a generous host with a true gift of putting all of his guests at ease, sharing his culinary talents at many gatherings over the years. He was also an accomplished musician and played cello in the Yale Medical School Orchestra (YMSO.) His cheerful and upbeat disposition, along with his caring and compassionate demeanor will never be forgotten.

Bob was a loving, caring son and brother. Above all, he was a devoted husband and father. His wife Jean and their daughters Katie and Emily, were his world. Bob will be forever missed and always loved by his wife Eugenia M. Vining, M.D; daughters Emily Marie and Kathleen Anne (Katie); his father Robert; and brother Jeffrey. He was predeceased by his mother Colleen and brother David.

The Funeral Mass was held Aug. 1 at St. Thomas More Catholic Chapel & Center at Yale University, New Haven. Due to current restrictions on in-person attendance, Services were livestreamed at In lieu of flowers, Bob’s family requests that donations be made in his memory to Idaho Rivers United, 3380 W. Americana Terrace, Ste. 140, Boise, ID 83706 (; Music Haven, 315 Peck St., Box A10, New Haven, CT 06513 (; or Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, 747 Third Ave., 33rd Fl., New York, NY 10017 (

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