NKF Mourns the Passing of a Champion of Kidney Health

Dr. Robert W. Schrier 1936–2021

Dr. Robert W. Schrier was former NKF President and recipient of NKF’s Hume Award

Jan. 28, 2020, New York, NY — The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is mourning the passing of one of the giants in kidney healthcare, nephrologist Dr. Robert W. Schrier, who passed away peacefully in the presence of his beloved family on Jan. 23, 2021.

Dr. Schrier was a prominent and prolific kidney researcher, who played a significant role in the growth of NKF from its origins as a grassroots patient advocacy organization into a leading kidney health agency. He was the president of NKF from 1984 to 1986, and among many honors, was the 1987 recipient of NKF’s most prestigious award, the David M. Hume Memorial Award, which is the highest honor given to a distinguished scientist-clinician in the field of kidney and urologic diseases by NKF. It is bestowed upon an individual who exemplifies the highest ideals of scholarship and humanitarianism in an outstanding manner.

“Dr. Schrier was a legendary figure at NKF,” said NKF Chief Scientific Officer Kerry Willis, PhD. “His vision led to the establishment of NKF’s research endowment fund, which is still supporting young investigators, 35 years later. The discoveries made by these young scientists are part of his legacy, which will continue to grow.”

“He was a preeminent leader who expanded a faculty of three into a world class Division of Nephrology at the University of Colorado that offered excellence in clinical care as well as creative investigation.” said NKF Chief Medical Officer Joseph Vassalotti, MD. “Dr. Schrier was described by his colleagues as the most inspiring of mentors, kind and supportive, but uncompromising in his pursuit of scientific truth.” 

He is the only person ever to have served as the President of the American Society of Nephrology, the International Society of Nephrology and NKF[1]. He was also the President of the Association of American Physicians and was a member of the National Academy of Medicine.[2]

He also concurrently directed an active research program with continuous multi-grant NIH funding for over 40 years, reflected in more than 1000 publications. Dr. Schrier had numerous and significant research contributions in different areas of study, including acute kidney injury, autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, hypertension, diabetic kidney disease and hormonal control of fluid and electrolytes in cirrhosis, heart failure, nephrotic syndrome and pregnancy.[3]


Kidney Disease Facts

In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease (CKD)—and approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it.  1 in 3 adults in the U.S. is at risk for chronic kidney disease.  Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabeteshigh blood pressureheart diseaseobesity, and family history. People who are Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander are at increased risk for developing the disease. Black or African American people are almost 4 times more likely than Whites to have kidney failure. Hispanic or Latino people are 1.3 times more likely than non-Hispanic or non-Latino people to have kidney failure.


About the National Kidney Foundation

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit www.kidney.org

  1. https://medschool.cuanschutz.edu/medicine/about/newsroom/dom-newsroom/pa...
  2. https://medschool.cuanschutz.edu/medicine/about/newsroom/dom-newsroom/pa...
  3. https://medschool.cuanschutz.edu/medicine/about/newsroom/dom-newsroom/pa...