Obituary: Robert M. Senior, MD, professor emeritus of medicine, 86

Robert Senior

Robert M. Senior, MD, a highly regarded physician-scientist and professor emeritus of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, died peacefully Thursday, June 8, 2023, at his home in St. Louis. He was 86.

Joining the faculty in 1969, the noted pulmonologist spent a long and distinguished career at Washington University, where he was a professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine and a professor of cell biology and physiology.

In recognition of Senior’s outstanding contributions to the field of pulmonary medicine, in 1988 he received an endowed professorship, the Dorothy R. and Hubert C. Moog Professor of Pulmonary Diseases in Medicine, a position he held until his retirement in 2015.

Originally from White Plains, N.Y., Senior earned his undergraduate degree from Oberlin College in 1957. He went on to earn his medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine in 1961. He conducted his internship and first year of medical residency at what was then Barnes Hospital and was a senior resident at what was then Jewish Hospital of St. Louis. He pursued postdoctoral research as a fellow in cardiorespiratory physiology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

After completing his medical training, Senior became chief of the pulmonary function laboratory at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. From 1966-69, he served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps.

Senior returned to St. Louis to serve as the director of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Jewish Hospital and also interim physician-in-chief and director of the Department of Medicine from 1989-90. He also served as a consultant at the John Cochran Veterans Administration Medical Center, and was an attending physician at Barnes, Jewish, and Barnes-Jewish Hospital for more than 40 years.

He is survived by his wife, Martha Senior; his daughters Jocelyn and Rebecca Senior and Devra Bram; his son, David Senior; and seven grandchildren.

A funeral service was held June 11 at United Hebrew Congregation in St. Louis County. Memorial contributions may be made to United Hebrew Congregation or to Forest Park Forever.

Read the full obituary on the School of Medicine website.

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