Dr. Robert Isaac Gregerman
Dr. Robert Isaac Gregerman passed away peacefully at home in San Antonio, Texas on October 6, 2021 at age 91. Throughout a distinguished career of over six decades, Dr. Gregerman made significant contributions as a leading researcher in the fields of endocrinology and gerontology. He was admired for his knowledge and integrity, his generous mentorship of physicians-in-training, and his skillful commitment to the care of patients.
In the words of his friend and colleague, Dr. Michael Katz, he exemplified “how a life can be well lived, with rigorous curiosity, intellectual honesty, human decency, all with robust humor and unwavering modesty.”
Robert (Bob) Gregerman, the third son of Russian Jewish immigrant parents, was born in Boston, MA in 1930. He attended Boston public schools and was inspired to pursue a career as a scientist upon reading Sinclair Lewis’s novel Arrowsmith. In 1951, Bob graduated from Harvard College, magna cum laude, with a degree in biology. As an undergraduate, he worked in the laboratory of future Nobel Laureate George Wald, with whom he published several scientific papers that contributed to Wald’s award.
After graduating from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1955 and completing residency in internal medicine, Dr. Gregerman moved to Baltimore, Maryland to conduct medical research at the Gerontology Research Center (GRC) of the National Institute on Aging. There he met and married Marjorie Bender, a graduate student of medical illustration at Johns Hopkins. They embarked on a life together, raising a family and cultivating shared interests in science, art, travel, and involvement in their communities.
In 1961, as a commissioned officer in the United States Public Health Service, Dr. Gregerman established and led the endocrinology laboratory of the GRC at the Baltimore City Hospitals, where he conducted some of the first human studies on the metabolic effects of aging. He joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and became director of the Hopkins Bayview Research Center Division of Endocrinology. In 1988, he became Professor of Medicine in Geriatrics and Endocrinology at Hopkins.
In 1992, Dr. Gregerman moved with his wife to San Antonio, Texas to become Associate Director for Research at the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC) at Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital, and was appointed Professor of Medicine at the affiliated University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. He retired from the GRECC in 2011 at the age of 81.
Dr. Gregerman’s bibliography includes over 100 research papers published in major journals, as well as chapters in textbooks including Principles of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Williams Textbook of Endocrinology, and Principles of Ambulatory Medicine.
Known as Papa Bob, Bobby, Dad, and Doc, he loved chamber music, planes and cars, fall foliage, observing and rescuing birds and other small creatures, tending plants, and sharing good food and drink with friends, family, and students. His family cherished his warmth, playful spirit, and never-ending quest for knowledge. He will be remembered for his fierce intelligence, wit, and above all, for his kindness. He will be achingly missed.
Dr. Gregerman is survived by his wife of 64 years, Marjorie Bender Gregerman; daughters Lisa Gregerman and Debra Gregerman; son-in-law Shaun Grady; and granddaughters Rachel Grady, Jenna Grady, and Eva Lanoue; sister (-in-law) Barbara Rosenberger; beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins; dear friends and colleagues.
His family is beyond grateful for the dedication of those who have cared for Bob: Pasteur Medical Associates, Caring Solutions, and River City Hospice, with special thanks for the loving attention of his caregivers.
Graveside services at the Temple B’nai Brith Cemetery, 37 Sabino Farm Rd. (Rte 128N) Peabody on Monday, October 11 at 12:30 pm. To watch the service virtually, please use this link: https://tinyurl.com/DrRobertGregerman
Contributions can be made to the Alzheimer's Association (www.alzfdn.org), the San Antonio Food Bank (www.safoodbank.org), Temple B’nai Brith of Somerville, MA (www.tbbsomerville.weebly.com), or the International Bird Rescue, (www.birdrescue.org).
Monday, October 11, 2021
Dr. Robert Isaac Gregerman
October 10, 2021
Dear Dr. Gregerman,
Words can NOT express our sorrow of your passing. You have been the BEST colleague, Mentor, and friend one could ever hope for! Without your love and support, our family would not be where we are today! We love you SO SO much! Rest In Peace my dear Mentor and Friend.
Until we meet again
Dean Lu and family