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Ather Ali, ND, MPH, MHS

Messages for Ather Ali, ND, MPH, MHS


Message from Consortium Chair, Rob Saper

The Ather Ali Scholarship for Naturopathic Physicians

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Messages for Ather


To Ather's family and friends

Ather, you were gentle friend, bright force of change, you led by example and I always looked up to you for advice and aspiration.  Words are not enough to convey all good you did in this world.  I'm still in shock that you are left, the next Consortium meeting will be sad and different, knowing that you are not amongst us anymore.

Ather, I pray for your family and friends.  Travel well dear Friend, wherever your soul journey takes you next.  

Mikhail Kogan

To Ather’s Family,

Ather was a dear friend who affected me more than I can describe.  He was soft spoken and gentle, yet committed and clear in his beliefs. His humility was unsurpassed, yet he was courageous about what was right and true.  He was thoughtful and contemplative in all that he said and did, with profound clarity and resolve.  He held everyone in his heart with a warm kindness so very rare this days, even in our profession.  His commitment to the field of integrative medicine was unwavering and inspiring, as was his love you, his family.  Know that we are holding you in our hearts and will go about our lives differently having had the honor of knowing Ather, your husband and father and our dear friend.


Margaret Chesney

Dear Ather, its difficult to find the words. I'm devastated of your passing and will miss your friendship tremendously. It has been an honor and a blessing to get to "grow up" with you in the Consortium. We got to work together on many projects for the Consortium and the congresses over the past 10 years. I'm very inspired by the kind of person you were and will strive to live with the integrity, compassion, kindness and perseverance that you did. To Sumiya and your children, I hope you find peace in knowing how tremendously successful your Ather was as a friend to so many, as a professional and colleague, as a contributer to the betterment of the health of the public and his most favorite, husband and father to his treasured family. I'm so sad you are gone but I'm so grateful we were friends. You had so much more to contribute, we will carry your torch. Sending so much love to your family and loved ones. 

Samantha Simmons
I had the pleasure of working with Ather as his tailor. Although many of my customers are kind and well educated, Ather easily stood out from the rest. His attention and soft spoken demeanor made him a pleasure to work with. He would always take time to speak to my mother, also a patient at Smilow, answering questions and offering solutions during her treatments, putting her at ease. He will be missed.
Enzo Valentino

Dear Sumiya, Yasin, and Rayhan,

I met Ather about a year ago.  We were in a grant writing class together.  We often sat near eachother and we would share stories about our family and work.  He loved you all so much.  He told me some cute stories about you. I also loved how organized he was with his online calendar and how he lovingly looked at his research findings on his laptop. I was also so happy to start a friendship with him, because I was so excited to find someone who studied mindfulness at Yale.  Ather even got me to start mindfulness mediation for myself, which has improved my quality of life so much.  I continue to be so grateful to Ather.  After our class had ended, we wrote a pilot grant together and it was funded.  I am continuing our work now.  In the brief time I got to know him, he has changed my life personally and professionally.  I will never forget him.

Joan Monin


Joan Monin

Dear Sumiya, My deepest and heartfelt condolences to you, Yasin and Rayhan and the entire Ali/Khan families in the passing of Ather. It was a pleasure to hear the easy, quiet and proud way he spoke to and about you and the children. His smile would light up a room. As a neighbor, I would watch him laugh and play. His love for his family was a joy to behold. May all who knew him find solace in the way he lived his life. May his colleagues continue his work, to which he was so dedicated, and that helped so many. His thoughts and deeds will continue to be an inspiration.






Barbara Nicolazzo

 When I first met Ather and Sumiya, they had just relocated to New Haven. My first impression was that these two were defintiely soulmates. He was very soft spoken and she was confident and on task. When Yasin was born I went to visit them and from the beginning I could see in the way Ather doted over his newborn son that he would be the type of father his children could rely on for deep love and understanding. I never felt capable enough to converse with him about his career goals and objectives, yet I knew he was making an impact in an industry that could border on being cold and distant. Anytime we would meet his signature smile always proceeded his greeting of peace and his inquiry into how I was doing and i would respond in the same manner. The last time we met we exchanged pleasantries with a smile but I sensed that he was not the same physically. Upon hearing of his passing I immediately thought of his family and the impact his absence  would have on them. My prayer to Sumiya, Yasin, Rayhan, his parents and his siblings is that in time you will comforted by the fact  that the gentle soul that was Ather has made the world a better place and that his ideas and deeds of good toward humanity will last into eternity, in sha Allah. Our prayers and thoughts of and for him wil be constant as they will be for you.

Jamilah Rasheed

I'll never forget Dr. Ali’s example of extending compassion through stillness and active listening.  He radiated empathy and scientific rigor simultaneously.  He was so natural, so genuine that he made others--patients and colleagues alike--feel more comfortable in their own skins and more capable of being their best selves.  I never saw Dr. Ali talk to a cancer patient as if she were a cancer patient.  He witnessed and absorbed people's pain and stories; even at the end of a long, difficult day, he continued to see everyone as a complex individual.  I never saw him rush a patient or leave a question unanswered, even when he himself didn't seem to be feeling well.  I never saw him not find a way in with a patient, even someone resistant to what he was saying.  It was astonishing to observe people at their wits’ end lighten and smile and actually feel better after talking with him.  He seemed to value creativity and imagination as much as empirical evidence and he crossed borders between disciplines and departments, between students and colleagues and administrators with ego-less grace, like he had the bigger picture firmly in sight.  I met and learned from many brilliant and kind nurses, PAs, and doctors in my short time at Yale but Dr. Ali is the one who has left an indelible impression on me as a model of how to be a healer, a human being, a teacher, a member of a community.  So thankful to have had the opportunity to learn from him and our ILCE team for three precious months.  Heartfelt condolences to Dr. Ali’s family, friends, colleagues, patients.  Holding you all in the light.



Neela Vaswani

We had the amazing fortune of being students with Dr. Ali this past year as part of Yale's new Interprofessional Longitudinal Clinical Experience program. As a group of four nursing, medical, and physician associate students we met with Dr. Ali every week at Smilow. Our primary goal was to learn how to collaborate across professions, and who better to learn that from than Dr. Ali. He taught us by example. For the quiet and soft spoken individuals of our group, it was so impactful to learn from someone whose career demonstrated that you don't need to be the loudest voice in the room for your ideas and passions to be heard. Each week, we saw his passion for integrative medicine shine brightly, and we strive to continue sharing his lessons in our own clinical experiences. We remember fondly that just last semester we were all gathered in his office, decorated with drawings by his children, together drinking tea - and he has left us with a lasting message of how to be gentle and kind with our patients and colleagues. It is one we will all carry with us throughout our careers and lives. 


Monique Morales, Walter Hsiang, and Casey Magis-Agosta

Monique Morales

jamilah rasheed
My thoughts and prayers are with your family. I was Dr. Ali’s Administrative Assistant. Although I did not know him well or see him often, I could tell he was an amazing man. His presence was calming to me and his kind smile was contagious. When I think of Dr. Ali, it saddens me that such a beautiful soul was taken so early. With heartfelt sympathy, Anna Schairer
Anna Schairer


To my friend Ather:

You have been such an inspiration & kind counselor to so many. Your soft way of treating everyone always will be a lesson for us to follow.

While fighting for your life, you were able to detach yourself & continue to treat the medical needs of so many of us. This trait, I find to be so wonderful, admirable  & incredibly selfless. 

Though your time with us is done & we will miss you, your legacy will live on.

God has chosen to take you, since you have evolved as far to perfection as is possible.

May we all seek solace in knowing this fact.

Bless you my friend & your family.

With deepest empathy,


Chuck Bove

 Ather was one of the kindest, warmest people I have ever had the honor of knowing. His loss is unbearably sad. My family and I send our love and condolences to Sumiya, Yasin, and Rayhan. You are a beautiful, strong family; may your circle draw closer as you go through this difficult period. Know that you have many friends who are thinking of you.

With love from Sue, Steve, David, and Andy

Susan Stokes

Dr. Ali was my amazing mentor throughout residency and into the beginning on my oncology fellowship as I explored the world of integrative oncology. He was so incredibly kind, creative, thoughtful, and extremely successful and he taught me so much, both about academic medicine and the things that are really important in life. Dr. Ali went above and beyond for his trainees and his colleagues and was organized, forward-thinking, and team-oriented in a way that I have never observed before in a leader in academic medicine. He has made such an incredibly important impact on my life and I will be forever grateful to have worked with him and to have been his friend. Sumiya, Yasin, and Rayhan - please know how much we all cherished Ather - he was by far one of the most accomplished people I have ever met, and, more importantly, he exemplified how to be a compassionate, caring, thoughtful person in the sometimes competitive and unforgiving world of medicine.

Sending love and wishes for healing.

Natalie and Ryan Wallace 


Natalie Wallace

Dear Sumiya, Yasin and Rayhan,

My deep condolences for the loss of the physical presence of your beloved Ather.  I know that his spirit and love will be with you always.

Ather was a friend and colleague to me.  We worked together on the massage for OA studies with Adam Perlman, and also in the consortium working group. So I had the blessing of knowing and interacting with him for many years. He is one of the best humans I have ever known, and I will treasure the times and friendship we shared.  His example will continue to inspire the work I am priveleged to do in service of the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of people, as he so lovingly and effectively did. 

When Adam asked for some thoughts for the talk he would give at the memorial service at Yale, these words came to me:


In Gratitude to Ather Ali



In gratitude to Ather Ali,

a beautiful soul who healed many

Who blessed us with his way of being,

the higher self within us freeing

Who also showed us how to see,

with loving sensitivity

Who taught us with the thoughtfulness,

            he brought to each and all of us

Who lead us with the love he shared,

            with humility and caring paired

Who served with gratitude and grace,

            to bring healing light to every space

Who is held in the hearts of all who knew,

            this beautiful spirit, so strong and true



With respect and love,

Susan Gould Fogerite, PhD

Grateful friend and colleague


Susan Gould Fogerite

Dear Sumiya, Yasin, and Rayhan. You and beloved Ather opened your home to us and other neighbors and friends on many occasions. We cherish your love for each other and for the gifts of hospitality you shared, as we mourn Ather's death and your profound loss.

Judy Lhamon and Gwen Heuss-Severance



Judy and Gwen Lhamon and Severance


Ather was my great interlocutor. I sought his advice on everything from mousetraps, bike trails, Sunday schools, private schools, grant proposals, and even exit strategies to leave academia when things were looking rough. Although we didn't work in the same department of even the same hospital system, my colleagues from work made the connection when the “In Memoriam” email from the Yale School of Medicine announced that my close friend was no longer among us. For many years, I shared advice he offered and emails he would forward to me, ranging from interesting workshops, grant opportunities, and “how to succeed” articles. One layer of our friendship resulted from our struggle to compete in academic medicine. We shared our failures and celebrated our successes together with our families. As many of our friends and all of our mentors remind us, our life’s work is critiqued and rejected at least 80% of the time; that’s if we persevere. Ather was one of the handful of friends who I really depended on during those early, critical years, launching my academic career for both emotional and, quite frankly, logistical support. The deeper layer to our friendship was our shared goals of trying to be good husbands and fathers and stand-up American Muslims in a tumultuous time. Of course, deep friendship often emerges from trials and tribulations.

Ather was a closet techy. He was an early adapter of technology and (don’t let his humble, quiet persona fool you) he loved gadgets. He was the first of my friends to subscribe to Amazon Prime, the first to own a Prius V (plugin), the first (of my friends) to order and actually program a Raspberry Pi. I know he was a techy because when I would ask him about any of his new acquisitions, with a twinkle in his eye and a bright smile, he would proudly walk me through how each worked, described how he shopped around for the best deal, and inevitable followed with an email (hours after the conversation) with a link for follow up information. I made the mistake, recently, of complaining to him (over text message) that my wife wanted the new Tesla Model 3 to recuperate from her midlife crisis. After forwarding me a “everything you need to know about the new Tesla” link and admonishing me that she was too late to the Tesla party (it will take at least two years if she puts the deposit now) he professed that he secured the Model 3 the first day the wait list was made available.

Ather was a quiet, but potent social networker. He loved to connect to people. Unlike some who networked for purely personal ambitions, he connected people for a greater good. The day after he passed I scrolled through my email to reflect on our relationship; the inbox was full of requests for referrals who I could recommend for his friends, colleagues, mentees, or patients. Conversely, my inbox was full of people who he connected me to for my own personal and professional needs. The most meaningful and personal connection he provided was a Turkish orthopedic surgeon (based in Turkey), who he had met through his international and global health work, to operate on my first cousin who lived in Mosul, Iraq. My cousin’s home was bombed by an airstrike. He and the family did not want to take chances at the local trauma center in ISIS occupied Mosul. Instead, Ather played a central role in arranging his surgery in southern Turkey that may have literally saved my cousin’s life.

We miss Ather. I pray that he is well and that we will reconnect in a better place.



Hamada Hamid Altalib


Since our children were toddlers at Leila Day, we've known each other. Now, Yasin and Julien, approaching adolescence and best buddies today. I can picture all of us doing the fall clean-up together behind the Cottage, and then later at Foote, sharing teachers and classroom experiences. Ather, you were always there, smiling, welcoming, hugging. Fast forward to just about a year ago, post-election, when you and Sumiya opened your home and made EVERYONE feel welcome. Sharing your food, your friends, your community. It was a truly special moment, where you helped us to feel more connected and gave us a cathartic place to question, to ruminate and to move forward. And then, to just before you passed, Ather, walking the hallways in Smilow with you and Sumiya. You introduced me to your colleagues who were now treating you as their patient. I was glad to be there as your friend. 

Amy Caplan
I am so grateful that I had an opportunity to spend time with Ather. I feel like we grew up together in academic medicine. He was kind and full of deep integrity. Always will to help and make everyone feel comfortable. I will miss him and his beautiful presence in our field
Paula Gardiner

Ather, your status on Whatsapp still says "available," and all I want to do is text you my salaams and see a reply from you. I haven't been able to process this. It hurts so horribly whenever I try. Yasmine and I just talk about you and cry. It's too much; the hole is too big. Your life took our lives in completely new directions - you wouldn't believe me if I tried to explain. You saw us in our rawest states. We could be our true selves in front of you, and you could do the same. You were always the quietest one in the room, but the second you opened your mouth, everybody else shut up. I still remember gathering in your old apartment in East Rock twelve years ago. I still hoped only two months ago that we would meet you, Sumiya, and the kids somewhere for spring break this year, and if not, then of course we'd see you in Hamden next summer like we always do. Your leaving us is the end of an era - I feel rudderless these days. Why did you have to leave us so soon? We love you and miss you more than I can put in words.


Noor al-Deen
Ather, You are an outstanding physician. What a great loss to the consortium and its members.
Winona Chua

Dearest Sumiya, Yasin and Rayhan,


I was saddened to learn of Ather's illness and passing. I met your beautiful family when Yasin entered our Morning Program class at Leila Day. Having both Yasin and Rayhan for two years gave me an opportunity to get to know and love your family. Ather was a quiet and kind man, a devoted father and loving husband. He had a warm smile and sensitive heart. Sadly I didn't know much about his work until his passing. Having lost my mom to cancer I can deeply appreciate his dedication to informed better treatments and care. You must be so proud. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. 


With heartfelt sympathy,



Linda Terrill

Linda Terrill

Dear Ather,

It's so hard to believe you're gone. I've been crying and crying. I'm crying now. For Sumiya and the kids, for the whole world. Selfishly, for me and for all your friends. You've been such an inspiration to so many people. We'll try to live up to the example you set even though, Ather, it's impossible.

You and I connected when you came over with Ania and Ted to learn about my influence and persuasion class, and we bonded over our shared interest in learning what it takes to become a good leader. One of the first times we met, you shared your article on the health benefits of chocolate and gave me chocolate covered cranberries and blueberries. I was thinking, "What kind of doctor is this?!" You treated my mom as a patient, you introduced me to Stan McChrystal, who inspired both of us, I gave you negotiation advice. We discussed books. You invited me to join the massive new undertaking that I hope, hope hope, will still happen. I was stunned at how much you were able to do, how many people you were able to help, always.

When you got diagnosed you reached out for social support, and I was so flattered to realize you thought of me as your real friend. Because I wanted to be. I knew you were utterly amazing, but it wasn't like we were socializing together. Although we had talked about introducing our families, having kids similar ages and all. And you had talked about Sumiya many times, with such love and respect, but I didn't get to meet her until after you were ill. At my murder mystery dinner party... when it still didn't occur to me that having cancer meant you might actually die. I couldn't imagine it. You were so very alive.

And for me, for so many of us, you still are and always will be. We miss you, Ather, damnit! And send our love. And will remember you forever. And because of you, because you lived and shone so bright, we will be better people than we would have been. We'll pay your kindnesses forward, as best we can, again and again.

With a warm, sad heart,

Your friend Zoe 

Zoe Chance

Dear Sumiya, Yasin and Rayhan,

It was truly our pleasure to get to know Ather. He was a wonderful father, dedicated to Yasin and Rayhan, a loving (and clearly deeply admiring) husband, and a kind and thoughtful man who worked to make the world a better place. We are so sad that he's gone, and so very sorry for your loss. 

With friendship and deepest sympahy,

Sachin, Jessica & Sophia

Sachin, Jessica & Sophia Pandya

I first met Ather in 2004 when heI interviewed for a residency position. I still recall our initial conversation – notable because of its substance and gravity. Ather did not list his academic achievements, but rather chose to share with me the path he took after the 9/11 attacks to promote understanding about Islam and cultivate community on the UCLA campus. Ather chose to respond to ignorance and animosity with generosity and kindness. Over all these years, in professional and personal settings, I saw Ather repeatedly make the choice for generosity and kindness. These are Ather’s enduring qualities – his gift and lesson to all of us.

Salaam alaykun.

Anna-leila Williams

 The World dimmed for the family, relatives, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and many more known and unknown, and others who came to know him in this brief period of travel through this worldly journey.  May God give patience and strength to his family to bear this irreplaceable loss -  Aameen

Deeply sadened

Dastagir & Tamkeen Anwar

Riverside, CA


Dastagir Anwar
Ather was a great son husband,father and brother,it is not how did he die, but how did he live? Not what did he gain, but what did he give, in his age of 42 years he has left a legacy behind. These are the units to measure the worth of a man as a man regardless of his birth,religion or creed. He always befriended those really in need,he was ever ready with words of cheer, he brought back smiles to banish tears,he was the most humble person. May his children Yasin and Rehan inherit all of his great qualities. Our sincere condolences to the entire Ali Family. May God help his parents Akbar and Faiz Ali,his wife Sumiya Khan-Ali his children Yasin and Rehan and mostly his brother Arshad and his wife Portia who were there for him during his most difficult time.
Akhtar's and Rashida Emon

The first business meeting I ever attended with Ather, he literally pulled a full-sized baked fruit tart in a glass pan out of his lunch bag. He explained his wife made it and bragged about what a great cook she was. It was just the surface of my understanding of him as a person. He was the text book description of a family man and it was a great pleasure working with him.

Ather’s positive outlook matched with his poetic soul made him a treasure. I only worked with him for a few months, when I accepted a job closer to home to be more accessible to my small children. Ather’s comment was “I am proud you are putting your family first”. I have turned back to that nurturing comment many times and it grounds me. He was a man so ahead of his time, and he will be very missed. 

Jeanette Brooks
Ather was a great son husband,father and brother,it is not how did he die, but how did he live? Not what did he gain, but what did he give, in his age of 42 years he has left a legacy behind. These are the units to measure the worth of a man as a man regardless of his birth,religion or creed. He always befriended those really in need,he was ever ready with words of cheer, he brought back smiles to banish tears,he was the most humble person. May his children Yasin and Rehan inherit all of his great qualities. Our sincere condolences to the entire Ali Family. May God help his parents Akbar and Faiz Ali,his wife Sumiya Khan-Ali his children Yasin and Rehan and mostly his brother Arshad and his wife Portia who were there for him during his most difficult time.
Akhtar's and Rashida Emon

 I met Ather and Sumiya while at Bastyr University.  I thought, how sweet that they are married and in graduate school together.  I remember Ather being quiet but so smart.  He was always so humble.  He leaves a huge void in so many lives.  Sumiya and family, may the happy memories bring you smiles.  Ather, rest in peace.  

Jasmine Patel, MSAOM, LAc

 I shared an office with Ather for approximately four years at the Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center. He was a wonderful colleague and friend - invariably kind, thoughtful and supportive. He believed in holistic care of the patient by combining the best practices of integrative and allopathic care in treating chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia or Lyme disease. He was respectful of the ingrained biases of practioners in both fields and worked assiduously to bridge the gap between the two disciplines, using rigorous research and evidence based methodologies. His underlying motivation was always doing what was best for the patient. 

I remember the granola bars he always offered when we were working late. I complained that they tasted like sawdust but never refused his offer. Most of all I remember the joy and pride he had in his wife and children. I cannot imagine their loss. 

My sincere condolences to his family and friends. He will always be in my prayers. 

Zubaida Faridi

I met Ather more than 10 years ago, early on in my position at the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health, and he always had a warm smile and kind words.  His support was strong, and his words quiet.  It was always a pleasure connecting with him at conferences, and seeing him made me feel comfortable and at home.  My deep appreciation for his fine work, and amazing mind and spirit, and my deepest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.

Beth Rosenthal
May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.
Rockiy Ayettey

I`m very sad to hear this news. Ather will remain in my memory and thoughts! Please accept my sincere condolences. 

Maria Taame
I met Ather, first as a student in my class, and then as a colleague at Yale/Smilow. I was always so in awe with his patience, gentle approach, and passion for integrative medicine. Ather - you are so missed and so loved.
Melinda Irwin

Dear Sumiya, Yasin and Rayhan, please accept our deepest condolences.  We adored Ather, first simply as next-door neighbors, but later as caring friends.  We loved (and still love) him, just as everyone who knew him.  Kind, caring, fun and smart, with the warmest smile of anyone we know, Ather was truly a great person.  We think of Ather constantly.  May you find solace in the knowledge that Ather was admired and held in the highest esteem by those who knew him.  With much love and sympathy, your neighbors Ed, Karen and Allison

Ed, Karen and Allison Kaplan

"We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return." ?????? ?????? ????????? ???????? ?????????

May God give his family the courage and strength to bear the loss. It is really a tragic news. My heartfelt condolences for the family. May his soul rest in peace. 

Saif Ullah

 I had known Ather for probably over 10 years when he worked at the Yale-Griffin PRC and later at Yale.  I had the chance to interact with him on clinical trials. Ather and I collaborated on several successful training grants. I relied on him heavily to find resources for training for our residents as well as to find integrative medicine speakers for lectures and grand rounds.  He was our go to person in all matters related to integrative medicine.  Ather always had a positive attitude. I found him always eager to help and he did whatevery he could to help his colleagues.  We will miss him dearly.  Our prayers are with the mourning family and friends. 

Haq Nawaz

Dear Ather's family,

I'm deeply saddened by the news of Ather's passing. I was always struck by his kindness and committment to his work. He leaves a big void in our institution, however, I know that his work's legacy will help us take better care of our patients. My condolences to his wife, children and loved ones.

Jose Gomez
I was a biostatistical mentor for a couple of Ather's research projects. He was also a coauthor on one of my methodological publications. I knew Ather to be very smart and profoundly compassionate. He was kind and considerate. I immensely admired his commitment to integrative medicine and respected his research in this field. I was greatly saddened to learn of his death. I will miss him. I offer my sincere sympathy to his family.
Peter Van Ness


I had the privilege of being Ather’s Practice Manager at Yale.  He impressed me with his caring compassionate style right from the start.  His patients loved him and valued the care they received, and Ather was so dedicated to them as well.  Even when he was sick and not feeling well enough to go to clinic, he was trying to find a way to bring the patients to him so that he could continue to practice.   It truly was a privilege to know him and work with him.   I am sending prayers and love to his family. 




Melissa Troiano
I was shocked to hear about Ather's passing away. I knew he was not well, but never dreamt that he would not beat his illness. I met Ather in 2015 at a Pediatric Mastermind conference and from that weekend, he has been a mentor and friend. Ather was one of those rare individuals who always gave generously and was genuinely interested in helping everyone. He realized the pressures I was under with starting an Integrative Medicine Program and was always available to help and always gave me great advice!. He was going to be the keynote speaker at our first IM symposium but in true Ather style made sure he connected me with someone who could help find a replacement speaker when he told me he could not come. Even though he was not well, he emailed me to ask about how the symposium went!! I consider myself very lucky to have known him even though it was for a short time. I will always remember him and his gentle smile. It is still very painful to see his smiling face in the photo and to know that I will not be able talk to him again. My sincere condolences to his wife, parents, children, loved ones and close friends. Their loss is huge as is all of ours with the untimely passing away of the incredibly humble, gifted, very intelligent and gentle soul. May his soul rest in peace. Maria
Maria Mascarenhas

Ather was one of the first Consortium leaders I met when our team began working with the organization in 2014.  He was very welcoming with a smile that lit up the room.  Ather was such a warm, gentle, kind, smart, compassionate person.  I wish I could take away the pain we are all feeling by his departure on earth too soon – especially the pain of his beautiful family whom Ive never met but feel as though I know by virtue of the pride in which Ather would talk about his wife and children.  My thoughts and prayers go to Athers family.  He will be missed by many and never forgotten.

Laura Degnon

Words are often insufficient and it seems even more so when someone remarkable dies. Ather was such a remarkable person and words fail to provide the true depth of how Ather touched us all. 

While I will miss Ather deeply, I can't imagine how much his family will miss him and I am sending them strength to cope with this tremendous loss.

I will miss his calm voice and friendship.


Jeff Dusek

Ather leaves a huge void in many hearts, including mine.  I was looking forward to working with him after completing the Duke Integrative Healthcare Leadership program where I came to know his gentle but powerful spirit and work.  He graciously helped me and our fledgling Integrative Medicine at the University of Florida by helping me invite a much sought-after keynote speaker in 2016, and then speaking as a keynote speaker this year shortly before he became il.  I will remember him with much fondness, gratitude and respect. I send my  most sincere condolences to his family and prayers for comfort and strength.  May his spirit rest joyfully. 

Irene Estores

 It is with a sad heart that I say goodbye.  In you, I was blessed to meet someone who truly understood my difficulty of being a poor metabolizer stuck in a medical system of dominately allopathic ears.  Through your encouragement to forge ahead with what my “gut” told me I am happy to tell you I am radically better.  Although I can’t tell you in person, I know that you know.  You leave behind large shoes for someone to fill.

I know you were the trailblazer of integrating allopathic and naturopathic into a holistic new field, a new discipline that will be “greater than the sum of its parts”.  I thank Dr. Katz for seeing your light and giving you to us.  Blessings to your family.

Jeannae Quadri

 It is with a sad heart that I say goodbye.  In you, I was blessed to meet someone who truly understood my difficulty of being a poor metabolizer stuck in a medical system of dominately allopathic ears.  Through your encouragement to forge ahead with what my “gut” told me I am happy to tell you I am radically better.  Although I can’t tell you in person, I know that you know.  You leave behind large shoes for someone to fill.

I know you were the trailblazer of integrating allopathic and naturopathic into a holistic new field, a new discipline that will be “greater than the sum of its parts”.  I thank Dr. Katz for seeing your light and giving you to us.  Blessings to your family.

Jeannae Quadri

I am breathless with shock and sadness at this news. Ather was a wonderfully supportive colleague and mentor to me at Yale when my interest in Integrative Medicine was just beginning to take root. His manner was gentle, but his determination and generosity were unquestionably powerful in advancing the field of of Integrative Medicine. I recall in our last email communication how he spoke of the pride and joy of his growing family. I send my deepest condolences to those nearest and dearest to him. I will remember Ather with much fondness, respect and gratitude.  

Chelsea Walker-Mao
Ather glowed from within- the luminosity of his generous heart and gentle spirit flowing to all in his presence. He was both open to new views and firm in standing for what he believed to be right. Ather was excited by the power of ideas and the potential for bringing about change to help heal others and the world. As part of his Consortium circle that had the honor to know and work with Ather, I wish peace and healing to his family. Thank you for sharing him with us- he changed us for the better and remains an inspiration.
Melinda Ring

 I'm so sad to hear this. Ather was such a wonderful person to work with. My thoughts and prayers for his family



Cathi Eifert

Ather was a dear colleague and a bright light in the naturopathic profession. He was so soft-spoken that it would have been easy to overlook him were it not for his radiant kindness and gentle presence that had a way of drawing one in. I first met Ather when he was a student, and our paths crossed again when we were both teaching at University of Bridgeport. When his role there changed, we met regularly to catch up and brainstorm about opportunities for collaboration. He was always ready to be a resource for me and a mentor to students. He was a generous and luminous spirit and will be dearly missed. My sincere condolences to his family and loved ones. 

Elizabeth Pimentel

Dear Ather's Family,

Just like so many other people, I am deeply saddened by Ather's passing. I knew him as a colleague at Griffin Hospital and Yale University, who also became a friend because of his effortless dispositon to get to know those around him. Ather was a warm and gentle-mannered person. He was thoughtful and brilliant in his medical practice and his research. My memories of him will always be positive and full of encouragement to go on and persevere in life.

I would also like to thank you for encouraging and supporting Ather in his work, so that he could share so much with his research colleagues and friends.

My sincere condolences and warm wishes.


Veronika Shabanova

Veronika Shabanova


Dearest Family of Ather - Many times I marveled at the humility of Ather, his gentle strength and hard-working ethic, his authenticity and kind way of being. What a beautiful soul I was lucky to have known. I am so deeply sorry. Ruth 

Ruth Wolever

Such sadness over Ather's passing. Condolences to his family and loved ones.

Heather Tick

 Ather, I am so grateful to you for leading our professions with gentle intelligence and innovation, with an open heart and mind. You have been a true mentor of the possibilites we all can acheive to improve the lives of others, I've had many conversations with you about this over the years and have learned from every one. I am going to miss you.  Your ways are always in my heart.

Lynne Shinto

 Ather was a wonderful person. Deeply committed to his work, his family and to changing medicine. My heart is heavy with sorrow having learned of his passing. I got to know Ather through the Duke Leadership program and I was fortunate enough to see and spend some time with him at several conferences as well.  Ather was always kind, humble and full of wonderful insight, passion and yes, strong leadership. I was always truly struck by his drive and subtle but intense commitment to his work and medicine.  He was a special person, a wonderful example of a good man. We would all do well to incorporate many of Ather's fine qualities into our being. He will be sincerely missed. 

David Leopold

You knew I loved you, and was always proud of you.  And now, I really miss you.  I chastised you often for mumbling.  How ironic that I can't stop hearing your voice in my head now, when it was so hard to hear when you were actually talking!  How I wish we could have that next conversation that is never to be; I wouldn't mind at all straining to hear you.

Many loved and respected you, Ather.  We would so much prefer to carry the torch with you, trying to keep up.  But we will carry it now for you.  Your light, and your way, remain.

David Katz

It is with great sadness that I heard of Ather's passing.  A reserved, gentle man, who also had the gift and strength to speak his mind, I will greatly miss seeing and interacting with him.  He was extremely generous with his time and wisdom, and I feel fortunate that I was able to learn from him.  And his most recent gift to me is a reminder to enjoy every moment - Thank you, Ather.

Emily Ratner

I met Dr. Ali only a handful of times, but he made a lasting impression on me, with his gentle, genuine, thoughtful and appreciative manner. His kindness and humility stood out, and his simple and direct presence, whether in person, or over email, always humbled me. He was obviously a very dear, and precious soul. My thoughts, prayers and salam to his family.

Aterah Nusrat

My heart goes out to Ather's family and to all who knew him. I had the opportunity to work closely with Ather on many consortitum related activities over the years and see him grow into his own as a scholar and leader. He was so very thoughtful, gracious and hard-working, always willing to go the extra mile to be of help and give it is all with whatever needed to be done. While gentile in manner,  and passionate about advancing integrative medicine, nothing  lit up  Ather's being more than when he spoke of his children, proudly sharing their photos and antics. I am so sorry for the loss of such a wonderful man, son, husband and father at much to early an age.  He gave the world a lot in such a short time.


Rita Benn

 It is with saddened heart we hear the news of Ather's passing. Though taken much too young, Ather's life had great meaning. Rob's summary says it well and I will add only one story. Once I called him quite at the last moment when I was in New Haven visiting my daughter to see if he had time to meet. Even though it was a weekend he not only met me but took me on a detailed and energetic tour of the Yale Hosptial, describing not only his work and the great opprtinities and people there - but also it's history of science and medicine, which he was glad to be part of. Indeed, Ather made history himself as Yale's first naturopath. Someday, the world will understand not only the importance of his research, but the historic significance of his presence there. 

Wayne Jonas

My heart breaks with this very sad, untimely news. Ather was a gentle, warm and passionate man. He was an inspirational leader in the field of Integrative Health. He will be sorely missed by us all. My heart goes out to his family. May his memory forever be a blessing.

Esther Konigsberg

 Ather was the rare individual who actually embodied the principles of peace and mindfulness that he espoused.  He always greeted me with a smile and hug, and it was a privilege to count him a precious colleague and leader in integrative health care.  He will be missed--by me and many.  

Karen Lawson


Ather’s brilliant and inquisitive mind and his generous and kind spirit will be deeply missed. May our memories sustain and inspire us to carry on the work he so dearly loved. 

Mary Jo Kreitzer

There are no words to truly describe Ather, but "luminous" and "gentle" keep coming to mind.  What a terrible loss to us all.  To Ather's family, please know that all the people Ather has touched in his life are now surrounding you with love and prayers.  

Helene Langevin