A founder of pediatric nephrology, Robert L. Vernier, M.D., has died

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Robert L. Vernier, M.D., a distinguished member of the Medical School faculty in the Department of Pediatrics for four decades, passed away on May 2, 2014. He died peacefully of heart failure at his daughter's home.

Dr. Vernier made historic clinical and scientific contributions to pediatric nephrology research and patient care. His collaboration in the 1950s and 1960s with Marilyn Farquhar and Robert Good established percutaneous kidney biopsy as a diagnostic tool in pediatric nephrology and created the foundation for our understanding of the ultrastructure of normal and diseased kidneys. His early leadership in national and international organizations played an important role in establishing a specialty position for pediatric nephrology. Working with Dr. Alfred Michael, Dr. Vernier established the Division of Pediatric Nephrology at the University of Minnesota and trained over 100 pediatric nephrologists, most of whom went on to full-time faculty positions.

Dr. Vernier helped to found and lead the American Society of Nephrology (President, 1979-80) and the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (1976-77). His outstanding accomplishments in research, education and leadership were recognized by major awards from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Heart Association, the American Society of Nephrology, and the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology.

Dr. Vernier leaves behind his wife Molly and his children Patricia, Kristin, Kitty, and Rick, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is remembered with love and pride by the many pediatric nephrologists who endeavor daily to pursue his passion – the pursuit of knowledge for the benefit of children with kidney disease.

Further details about his life and career can be found in his online obituary.

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