Dr. John Adrian Sweeney
September 10, 2023

Memorial Information

September 29 2023 - 5:00 pm
University Club, 123 University Place, Pittsburgh, PA

DR. JOHN ADRIAN SWEENEY: Age 71, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, September 10, 2023, while working in West China Hospital, Chengdu. Beloved husband of Marilynn (Passafiume) Sweeney. Loving brother of Mary (Sweeney) Mosby and dear uncle of Dylan Mosby both of Ohio. Also survived by in-laws, Bill and Ginny Passafiume of Pittsburgh, PA and Bill Miller (late Corrine Miller) of Ohio. 

Born in Cincinnati, OH, John completed undergraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati and Tel Aviv University, Israel, before receiving his PhD in clinical psychology from Syracuse University. Postgraduate training was conducted at New York Hospital and Cornell University Medical College in NY. Dr. Sweeney was a renowned expert in neurocognition and neuroimaging. His pioneering work led to a deeper understanding of how to enhance cognitive abilities and improve the lives of individuals with schizophrenia, mood disorders, Fragile X and autism. 

A true mentor and man of the world, Dr. Sweeney served as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience at University of Cincinnati, OH and was Visiting Professor in Radiology, Sichuan University Chengdu, PRC. He previously held faculty positions at Cornell University Medical College, University of Pittsburgh, University of Illinois, where he was founding director of the Center for Cognitive Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern, Bond University and NSW both of Australia, and University of Muenster, Germany. 

Since 1987, Dr. Sweeney’s research has been continuously supported by the National Institute of Health with close to $75M in funding. As a prolific investigator, he authored over 1,100 articles, book chapters, reviews and abstracts. Dr. Sweeney was a recipient of an Alexander Von Humbolt Research Award in Germany.

In his free time, John enjoyed traveling the world with his wife, Marilynn, when away from their Pennsylvania and Florida homes. In the world of science, Dr. Sweeney was a luminary. When confronted with a complex problem or a finding that seemed counter to prevailing beliefs, he had an uncanny knack for wrestling with it and then figuring out how it fit into understanding the illness. His vast knowledge and intellect were astonishing. His gentle and affable nature as well as his generosity and humor all made him a cherished colleague, scientist, mentor, husband, family member and friend. John will be deeply missed by all who knew him. 

Dr. Sweeney’s funeral was held in Chengdu on September 18, 2023. A celebration of life is planned for Friday, September 29, 2023 from 5 PM to 7 PM at the University Club, 123 University Place, Pittsburgh, PA. Memorials may be made to a charity of choice. A service of Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. www.schugar.com


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