Robert W. Schrier


Honorary Degree (2016)
Doctor of Humane Letters
IUPUI Honors Convocation
Location: Indianapolis
Presenter: Michael A. McRobbie
School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award (2002)
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
School of Medicine
M.D., 1962


University of Colorado School of Medicine Professor Emeritus Robert Schrier is a world renowned nephrologist who has excelled in every aspect of his work - in clinical medicine, research, teaching, administration, mentoring, and professional leadership.

More than 1,000 scientific papers tell the story of Schrier's achievements: findings that have led to improvements in treatments of patients with acute kidney failure, diabetes, hypertension, and liver and heart failure, to name a few of the serious disorders that Schrier has endeavored to heal. Schrier has been awarded virtually every prize in American nephrology and has been recognized, in the words of IU Professor of Medicine Rajiv Agarwal, "as an exemplary academic physician leader who has sustained this standing for the last fifty years." Schrier is the only individual in the field's history to have been elected president of all three major nephrology societies - the American Society of Nephrology, the National Kidney Foundation, and the International Society of Nephrology. Add to this extraordinary life the fact that Schrier is also an accomplished athlete. He is a member of both the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and the DePauw University Athletic Hall of Fame.

After earning his bachelor's degree at DePauw, Schrier went on to study medicine at IU, graduating with highest honors and induction into the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. He completed his residency at the University of Washington in Seattle and conducted research at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston. After serving as an Army medical officer, he began his teaching career, first on the faculty of the
University of California Medical Center in San Francisco, and then at the University of Colorado, where his legendary career has spanned more than four decades. His prestigious appointments include a
Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship, and being named a Master of the American College of Physicians and an Honorary Fellow of the United Kingdom's Royal College of Physicians. His vast list of honors and awards underscores what Schrier's colleagues have long known and often expressed - that his intellectual vigor, unceasing energy, and uncompromising quest for quality have changed the face of medicine. Schrier's colleagues regularly cite, as well, the remarkable mentorship that he has lent to generations of faculty, fellows, and staff, guiding them toward their own successes. Distinguished
Professor Bruce A. Molitoris of the IU School of Medicine says that one characteristic of Schrier's career is his "uncanny ability to recognize talent, develop it, utilize it most appropriately, and provide an environment that allows individuals to maximize their potential. He has initiated, funded, mentored, and promoted a number of academic leaders."

Schrier has been awarded honorary degrees from DePauw University; the University of Colorado; the Silesian Academy of Medicine in Poland; the Medical College of Ohio; and Marshall University in West Virginia. He has participated in more than 150 invited lectures and international congresses. "The depth and breadth of his contributions are truly breathtaking," says Agarwal. "Schrier is a gifted teacher, meticulous scientist, inspirational leader, and an exemplary mentor. It is a rare individual who receives top honors for just one of these areas. Schrier has received several awards for each one of these diverse areas." A small sampling of his honors includes the IU School of Medicine Distinguished Alumnus Award; the Medal of Excellence of the American Association of Kidney Patients; the Chancellor's Award for Contributions to Medicine of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center; the John Phillips Award of the American College of Physicians; the David Hume Award from the National Kidney Foundation; the John Peters Award from the American Society of Nephrology; and the Jean Hamburger Award from the
International Society of Nephrology.