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Joseph Kirsner, MD, PhD, a pioneer in the field of digestive system disorders, died in July at the age of 102. Dr. Kirsner was a leader in research and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and was one of the first to correlate an increased risk of colon cancer in patients with ulcerative colitis. He published more than 750 scientific papers and nearly two dozen books, including six editions of his textbook, “Inflammatory Bowel Disease”.
Dr. Kirsner continued to see patients until he was 95 years old. Over the course of his prolific career, he received the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s lifetime achievement award twice (1991, 2002), as well as numerous other honors and distinctions. He helped to found the American Gastroenterological Association, as well as the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. He contributed to the development of the original General Medicine Study Section, a volunteer grant advisory group to the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Kirsner was highly regarded for his commitment to patient care, and served as a physician to King Hassan II of Morocco.
Dr. Kirsner earned his MD from the Tufts University School of Medicine in 1933 and completed a two-year internship at Woodlawn Hospital in Chicago. He …