Robert E. Steiner was born in 1918 in Prague, then moved to Austria. He began his medical studies at the University of Vienna in 1935. In 1938 he left for Dublin in Ireland where he completed his studies at the national University College and graduated in 1941. He started his medical career in the United Kingdom Emergency Medical Services where he served from 1941 to 1945. His radiological training began in the United Sheffield Hospitals in 1944 and continued until 1950, when he finished as a junior registrar and tutor in diagnostic radiology. From 1950 to 1983 he worked in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at Hammersmith Hospital, London, first as deputy Director and then as Director when he was appointed the first Professor of Diagnostic Radiology of the University of London at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith Hospital. He retired in 1983, but continued to work part time in the MRI unit now named after him. Dr. Steiner was Emeritus Professor of Diagnostic Radiology at the University of London.
Dr. Steiner held distinguished offices in radiological societies in the UK and abroad; he was President of the British Institute of Radiology (1972-1973), President of the Royal College of Radiologists (1977-1980), and President of the Fleischner Society (1974-1975), to name some. He was an Honorary Fellow of many national societies in Europe, America, East Asia and Australia and has also attained many distinctions. Amongst those are Commander of the British Empire from the UK government; the Gold Medal of the Royal College of Radiologists; the Barclay Medal of the British Institute of Radiology; the Rajewsky Medal of the European Association of Radiology; and he was an Honorary Fellow of radiological societies throughout the world. He had also given a large number of named lectures such as the Olle Olsen lecture in Lund/SE, the Chamberlain lecture in Philadelphia/US, the Fleischner lecture in Boston/US, the Sosman lecture in Boston/US, and the Schinz lecture in Bern/CH.
Professor Steiner's research interests were largely in the cardiovascular field, 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 Magnetic Resonance Imaging 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
Publications number over 250, with the main emphasis on the pulmonary and cardiovascular systems, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Professor Steiner has been editor of 4 editions of Recent Advances in Radiology and Imaging (Churchill Livingstone) and of Clinical disorders of the pulmonary circulation (Churchill Livingstone); he was editor of the British Journal of Radiology from 1965 to 1970, and has written chapters in a number of textbooks.
For his numerous influential contributions to the science of radiology, particularly in MRI and in cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, Dr. Robert E. Steiner was awarded the Gold Medal of the European Congress of Radiology and the European Association of Radiology.
Professor Steiner sadly passed away on September 12, 2013. He will be dearly missed.