Juan Rodriguez Soriano, MD (2010)


The pediatric nephrology community has lost one of its stars. Juan Rodríguez Soriano was born on March 5, 1933 in Barcelona were he was raised and pursued his education up to and including the medical degree. After several years of general pediatric training at the Clinical Hospital of Barcelona, he won a scholarship at Hôpital des Enfants Malades, and arrived in Paris in October 1959. There, under the chairmanship of Prof. Pierre Royer, pediatricians from anywhere in the world had the unique opportunity to take a course devoted exclusively to the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases in children. At the time, in the adjacent Hôpital Necker, in the department of Prof. Jean Hamburger, nephrology was being born as a specialty distinct from internal medicine. Relationships between the two services were very close, and the joint sessions of pathologic correlations, directed by Dr. Renée Habib, remained indelible in Juan’s memory.

During the ensuing years, the group of Dr. Henry L. Barnett, Chairman of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York, gained prominence in the field of renal pathophysiology. His student, Dr. Chester M. Edelmann, developed the Division of Pediatric Nephrology in the early 60’s, with a strong focus on the investigation of neonatal renal function. With the support of Prof Royer, Juan joined the group in January 1963 as one of its first fellows. The research performed during those years, to which Juan contributed, included the mechanisms of urinary acidification [1,2] and urinary concentration in the newborn [3], and the seminal description of proximal renal tubular acidosis [4,5].

Juan returned to Barcelona in 1967 and became Head of the Clinical Service at the Children’s Hospital Vall d’Hebron. There, he met Maria Jesus Vita, a pediatric radiologist, who became his wife and the mother of their three children. In 1970, he took charge of the Department of Pediatrics at the Hospital Universitario de Cruces, where he remained until his retirement in 2003. At de Cruces, he led a group of young pediatricians, many trained in the U.S., and promoted the training of pediatric subspecialists. His incredible breath of knowledge, teaching skills, analytical ability, and clinical expertise were recognized by all those who had the privilege to work with him. In the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s, he continued researching and publishing on renal function tests (6-10) and various tubulopathies (11-17). From the middle of the 90’s he collaborated with Dr. Richard Lifton’s group, at Yale University, and with other investigators, in the search to identify the molecular basis of Bartter syndrome [18,19], renal tubular acidosis [20,21], familial hypomagnesemia with hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis[22,23],pseudohypoaldosteronism [24,25], and other genetic disorders. His scientific contributions are described in over 300 publications.

In September 1967 Juan was in Glasgow for the founding of the European Society of Pediatric Nephrology, under the chairmanship of Gavin Arneil. In December 1968 he attended the meeting of the International Society of Pediatric Nephrology in Guadalajara, Mexico, and one of the first meetings of the International Study of Kidney Disease in Children, chaired by Henry Barnett, in Puerto Vallarta. In 1973, Spanish pediatricians founded the Section of Pediatric Nephrology of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, followed by the Spanish Pediatric Nephrology Association, of which Juan was president from 1976 to 1981. He held the Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Health, was an honorary member of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, was councilor on the IPNA Board from 1990 to 1995, served for several years on the Editorial Board of the Spanish Annals of Pediatrics, and was a member of the Editorial Board of Pediatric Nephrology for two extended periods (1987-1992 and 1995-2002). He will be deeply missed.

Adrian Spitzer
Chester Edelmann

Nancy Hinkle Holland, MD (2010)

Died on March 7, 2010 at the age of 88

Dr. Nancy Holland was the first pediatric nephrologist in the Commonwealth of Kentucky joining the faculty of the University of Kentucky in 1964. After serving as First Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corp at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., she graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in 1954. She completed her fellowship training under Clark D. West in 1960 at the Children’s Hospital Reseacrh Foundation in Cincinnati and remained there as an Assistant Professor (1962-64). She was appointed Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Pediatric Nephrology at the University of Kentucky in 1972 and served in those capacities until her retirement in 1988. Dr. Holland was one of the initial members of our society, serving on the committee on dialysis and transplantation (1973) an the membership committee (1977-80) which she chaired in 1979-80. She had over 50 publications related to a wide variety of topics in pediatric nephrology. She was most passionately interested in urinary tract infection and reflux nephropathy. Her clinical expertise and advocacy for her patients was clearly apparent to medical students, residents and faculty colleagues at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington.

Dr. Holland is survived by her husband of 49 years, Dr. Charles Phillip Holland, her sister Anne Hinkle Baldwin, her sister-in-law, Sally Spears Hinkle, her 7 nieces and nephews and her eighteen great-nieces and great-nephews, all of whom felt her never failing love and encouragement.

William J. Oliver, MD (2010)

Died on May 11, 2010

Dr. William J. Oliver passed away on May 11th at the age of 85. Dr. Oliver was one of the initial pediatric nephrologists to take the Board exam and participated in one of the first kidney transplants in Michigan. He initially came to the University of Michigan in 1953 for residency and rapidly rose to the rank of Professor at age 40 and was appointed Department Chairman in 1967. He served on numerous Pediatric and Kidney societies including Chairman of the Council on Pediatric Education of the AAP. His early kidney research examined catecholamines in patients with, and animal models of, nephrotic syndrome and he was able to convince one of us that nephrosis might be a defect of hormonal function rather than albumin metabolism. Subsequently, he became interested in renal function of indigenous South American peoples and continued to actively publish his work on uric acid and the Yanomama Indians up to 2008.

David Kershaw
Bill Schnaper

Renee Habib, MD (2009)


Renée Habib, one of the giants of Pediatric Nephrology, died on December 4, 2009, in Paris, France. Throughout her professional life as a physician and scientist, Mme. Habib demonstrated extraordinary insight and understanding regarding the pathology of kidney diseases and contributed to significant advances in the treatment of different disorders. Beyond her exceptional scientific contributions, however, she was also an outstanding teacher and mentor, devoted to training the next generation of clinicians and investigators across the globe. On a personal note, I had the great privilege and honor of working with and learning from her and she was one of my most influential mentors. Mme. Habib was instrumental in the establishment of Pediatric Nephrology as a discipline in scientific communities and institutions worldwide, and she touched the lives of countless faculty, students, and investigators, directly and indirectly, in her tireless efforts to expand the research scope and number of pediatric nephrologists internationally.

Mme. Habib was born August 26, 1924, in Casablanca, Morocco. She left Morocco after high school to pursue her university studies at the Faculty of Medicine of Paris, where she enrolled at the close of World War II, in October 1945. Certified in both Hematology (1950) and Pathology (1951), Mme. Habib received her Doctor of Medicine in 1954 with a thesis on renal polyarteritis nodosa. Intellectually gifted and scientifically innovative, she embarked on what proved a consistently groundbreaking research career in the field now known as Nephropathology. Through close collaboration with the Pediatric Nephrology Department at the Enfants Malades Hospital and with the Adult Renal Unit at the Necker Hospital in Paris, Mme. Habib studied thousands of patients with various nephropathologies, which enabled her to develop and propose an original classification of glomerular nephropathologies based on disease morphology. Her classification scheme is a classic body of work that is still accepted by all nephrologists and nephropathologists worldwide and has led to numerous advances in the diagnosis and treatment of multiple renal disorders. Having trained hundreds of physicians who for over four decades flocked to her laboratories from across the globe, many moving on to their own distinguished research careers and contributing to the worldwide dissemination of her concepts and methods, Mme. Habib was the creator and driving force of the “French School” of renal pathology.

Pediatric Nephrology has lost one its founders but she will remain a seminal figure in the scientific history and progress of our discipline. Her legacy will be appreciated and admired for generations to come.

Isidro Salusky, M.D.

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