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Robert Emil Steiner

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 26 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6888
  1. Tom Sherwood

Robert Emil Steiner was born in Vienna. After a happy childhood, political and racial iniquities soon oppressed his early student years at the University of Vienna and spelt emigration. He made for Dublin, where he was able to resume his medical studies at University College. It was only a year after qualifying that he published his first paper, in the BMJ, on serum hepatitis after transfusion. That was to be the beginning of a massive research record, amounting to well over two hundred publications.

It was also in Dublin that he met Gertrude Margaret Konirsch; their marriage spanned nearly 70 years, and they had two daughters. After his junior medical posts, they went to Sheffield after the end of the second world war, and he started training in radiology. In 1950 he applied for a post as lecturer and honorary consultant at Hammersmith Hospital, then the British Postgraduate Medical School. John McMichael had been its professor of medicine for four years and was on the lookout for a dynamic and research minded radiologist who could galvanise the rather staid x ray department. Robert Steiner quickly became senior lecturer and departmental director (1955), and was appointed professor of diagnostic radiology in 1961.

He was the sole professor of radiology of the University of London, with its 12 undergraduate medical schools. The BMJ later described his department as a “beacon light” to British radiology. Robert Steiner and …

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