It was with great sadness that we learned this week of the death of one of our distinguished past presidents.
Although I never had the chance to meet Professor Robert Steiner, many of my peers knew him well and he was well respected as a past president of the BIR, editor of the BJR and a pioneer in his field.
He was born in Prague, but he began his training Vienna, later moving to University College Dublin where he qualified in 1941. He began his medical career in the UK Emergency Medical Services, where he served from 1941 to 1945.
He began as a radiologist in Sheffield before moving to London’s Hammersmith Hospital in 1950 where he worked until 1983 in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology, first as deputy director and then as director. He was appointed as the first professor of diagnostic radiology of the University of London at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith Hospital.
Professor Steiner's research interests were largely in the cardiovascular field, and in the pulmonary circulation and pulmonary diseases. In all these areas he worked very closely with his clinical colleagues. Since 1979 he was involved with the development of the clinical application of MRI as a part-time member of a team supported by the Medical Research Council, the University of London and the British Department of Health and Industry.
He retired in 1983, but continued to work part time in the MRI unit now named after him.
We are very proud that Professor Steiner served as a president of the BIR from 1972 to 1973, was editor of the BJR from 1965 to 1970 and was a recipient of our BIR Barclay Medal in 1966. He went on to become president of the Royal College of Radiologists from 1977 to 1978.
We are indebted to his hard work, dedication and expertise in his field, which contributed so much to the development of medical imaging.
Professor Steiner passed away peacefully at his home on 12 September 2013. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family, on behalf of everyone who knew him at the BIR.
Professor Andrew Jones (President, BIR)