Ruth Kirschstein, MD (2009)

Died on October 7, 2009

We are all deeply saddened by the news of Dr. Ruth Kirschstein’s death last evening. She died peacefully, after battling a long illness. Our hearts go out to Ruth’s husband, Dr. Al Rabson, and their son, Dr. Arnold Rabson.

Ruth embodied the spirit of the NIH. She was an icon. She was loved and admired by so many at the NIH, across the medical research community, among hundreds of members of Congress, and around the world. Knowing Ruth, she would cringe if she heard us praise her–modesty was one of her strongest suits. Dr. Kirschstein couldn’t, however, argue with the facts about her service to the NIH that spanned more than 50 years. She was the first female Director of an NIH Institute, NIGMS. She was the Deputy Director of the NIH, acting NIH Director, and senior advisor to multiple NIH Directors. There are few at the NIH who have not been touched by her warmth, wisdom, interest, and mentorship.
She worked diligently on breaking the mystery of polio and developing the Sabin vaccine. Her many other accomplishments are too numerous to list. We will have an opportunity for the NIH family to pay tribute, reflecting upon the life and lessons of one of our greatest leaders, according to her and her family’s wishes, at a future date.

Ruth worked up to her last days. Last week, in fact, I was on a conference call with her, and her insightful contribution made it clear she had not missed a beat.

I know I speak for all of the NIH and our entire community, when I say that the world has lost one of its dearest, most dedicated public servants, one with a huge heart and brilliant mind. We will miss her always.

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.,
Director, NIH

Shane Roy III, MD (2009)

73, of Memphis, TN died on March 27, 2009

I am sad to inform you that Dr. Shane Roy, my friend and my partner of almost 20 years, has passed away. Shane became the first pediatric nephrologist to practice in Tennessee with his appointment in 1968 as assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, Memphis. Shane was the consummate teacher and clinician. He participated in the International Study of Kidney Disease in Childhood and was one of the initial participants in NAPRTCS. Shane had a strong interest in post-streptococcal acute glomerulonephritis and over many years made important contributions to that literature. In 1979, with Billy Arant, Shane discovered that chloride-deficient soy based formula was responsible for an epidemic of infantile metabolic alkalosis. This led to the passage of the Infant Formula Act of 1980. With Bruder Stapleton, Shane made the initial observations about the association of hematuria, hypercalciuria and stones in children. In 2000, Shane Roy received the Henry L. Barnett award from the AAP Section on Nephrology.

Shane is survived by his wife Mary Kay Roy, who has known him since she was 7 years old and by their daughter, Michele (Micki) Roy.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Pediatric Nephrology Research Fund, UTHSC Development Office, Suite 500, 62 S. Dunlap, Memphis, TN 38163 or to a charity of one’s choice.

Robert Wyatt

Robert J. Wyatt, M.D., M.S.
Chief, Division of Pediatric Nephrology
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Memphis, TN 38103

Jay Bernstein, MD

81, of West Bloomfield, MI, died on February 26, 2009

Dear ASPN Community:
It is with great sorrow, I wish to inform our community of the passing of Dr. Jay Bernstein. Dr. Bernstein was an internationally renowned renal pathologist who was instrumental in his contributions to pediatric nephrology. He had numerous publications and book chapters and was instrumental in his work with the International Study of Kidney Diseases in Children and contributions to the field of cystic renal disease.

Dr. Bernstein is survived by his wife, Carol, their sons John and Michael, and two grandsons.

It is suggested that those who wish to further honor the memory of Dr. Jay Bernstein may do so by making a contribution to:

Doctors Without Borders
P.O. Box 1856
Merrifield, VA 22116-8056
A Charity of Your Choice

Thank you,
Rudy Valentini

Rudolph P. Valentini, M.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Director of Dialysis Services
Vice Chief of Staff
Children’s Hospital of Michigan