Lives of the fellows

Robert Charles Moellering

b.9 June 1936 d.24 February 2014
BA Valparaiso(1958) MD Harvard(1962) Hon FRCP(2000)

Robert Charles Moellering junior was physician-in-chief and chairman of the department of medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, USA, and a leading infectious diseases specialist. He was born in Lafayette, Indiana, the son of Robert Charles Moellering, a civil engineer, and Irene Pauline Moellering née Nolde, a housewife.

He gained a BA in zoology from Valparaiso University in 1958 and went on to Harvard University Medical School, gaining his MD in 1962. He was then a resident in internal medicine and a fellow in infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital.

In 1981, he became physician-in-chief and chair of the department of medicine at the New England Deaconess Hospital. Over the next 15 years he developed the reputation of the department, particularly in the field of infectious diseases. In 1996, when the New England Deaconess and Beth Israel hospitals merged, he became chair of the department of medicine at the combined hospitals, and president and chief executive officer of Harvard medical faculty physicians at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He retired in 2005.

His research focused on infectious diseases, as well as antibiotic development and resistance. He published more than 400 articles. In 1982, he became editor of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, and three years later began a ten-year term as editor-in-chief.

During his career, he received a number of highly prestigious awards, including the Garrod medal of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, the Hoechst-Roussel award from the American Academy of Microbiology, the Maxwell Finland award for scientific achievement from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, and the Alexander Fleming award for lifetime achievement from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). He was president of IDSA in 1991.

In 2000 he became an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. He was also a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and of IDSA, and a master of the American College of Physicians. He was an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians.

He was survived by his wife Mary Jane Ferraro, a microbiologist whom he married in 1987, and three children, Anne Elizabeth, Robert Charles III and Catherine Irene.

RCP editor

[Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. July 2014 vol. 58 no. 7 3583-4 – accessed 12 December 2017; Infect Dis Clin N Am 28(2014) xiii-xiv – accessed 12 December 2017]

(Volume XII, page web)

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