Irwin M. Weiner, MD '56

Irwin M. Weiner, MDInternationally respected for his research into renal physiology, Irwin M. Weiner, MD '56, produced major discoveries regarding transport physiology, mechanism of action of diuretics, and secretion of drugs.

He also held important leadership positions during his Upstate tenure, a time of great change. Dr. Weiner joined the Upstate Department of Pharmacology in 1966 and served as department chair from 1968 to 1987, dually serving as Upstate's vice president for research from 1982 to 1988, when he was one of the architects of SUNY's Graduate Research Initiative. He served as dean of the College of Medicine and vice president for medical and biomedical education from 1987 to 1991, when he left to become dean of the College of Medicine for the SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn, otherwise known as Downstate.

Irwin M. Weiner, MD"All of us chairs were sad to see him go," says Fred Davey, MD '64, former chair of the Department of Pathology. "He was a very fair and insightful leader.
He had a deep long-term vision. Although his insight was keener and more perceptive than most, he never dictated to anyone. The department chairs always had the freedom to make their own decisions."

"We appreciated his decisiveness, calm within the storm and his dry sense of humor," adds Jose Jalife, MD, chair of the Department of Pharmacology.

Quiet and reserved, Weiner is best known for his exceptional mind. "Everyone who has known him throughout his career admired him greatly because he is so brilliant," says classmate Hal Wanamaker, MD '56.

Dr. Wanamaker recalls Gordon Moe, MD, former chair of the Department of Pharmacology, saying that while Weiner missed plenty of classes as a medical student, he never missed the latest movie and he always got an A+ on exams.

An active scholar even while an administrator, Weiner contributed more than 90 articles to professional journals or book chapters on renal physiology and pathology and pharmacology of therapeutics. He served on many professional boards and on the National Board of Medical Examiners from 1977 to 1982. From 1994 to 1997, he also served on the SUNY Research Foundation Board of Directors.

Weiner retired in 1996 and was awarded an honorary degree by Upstate Medical University in 2003.