Cyrus E. RUBIN Cyrus Rubin died on Mercer Island, WA at his home on 19-Dec-2011 still fighting a terminal illness, but died peacefully with his family around him. He was 90. Cy was born July 20, 1921 in Philadelphia, PA. His parents were William B. & Laura Goldblatt Rubin. He received his B.A. cum laude at Brooklyn College in 1943 and hisM.D. at Harvard Medical School two years later. At Harvard he enjoyed the mentorship of the late Dr.A. Stone Freedberg, a cardiologist and revered teacher of physical diagnosis whom Dr. Rubin regarded as his role model and main professional influence. Following internship at Beth Israel in Boston, he served as an officer in the U. S. Army Medical Corps. He completed residencies in medicine, at theVA Hospital in Framingham, Massachusetts, and in radiology at Beth Israel. He then went to the University of Chicago for fellowships in Gastroenterology. He came to the UW Department of Medicine in 1954, when he and Wade Volwiler composed the entire GI faculty and there was no UW hospital. All clinical work and teaching were performed at Harborview and the VA. Cy was already innovating in gastric pathology at that time. In the late 1950s and the 1960s he made engineering advances in gastric and intestinal biopsy leading directly to the accurate diagnosis of celiac disease. Use of the Rubin Tube demonstrated that celiac sprue in children and in adults were identical disorders, and his classic 1960 paper established the diagnostic criteria for the disease. Over the years he continued to refine endoscopic technology and its applications to diagnosis, treatment, and research on gastrointestinal disorders, meanwhile becoming an international authority on celiac disease. Always mindful of patients' needs, he encouraged industry to produce gluten-free foods to help them adjust to their condition. In recent years he studied the long-term effects of partial gastrectomy on the gastric mucosa, the genetics of ulcerative colitis and of GI malignancies, gastric health in elderly Japanese Americans, and disease associated with Helicobacter pylori. He produced an online lecture series for physicians on celiac sprue and many of the classic texts in his field. He was a personally involved, sympathetic teacher and mentor who trained scores of gastroenterologists, including many leaders in the field. Dr. Rubin received international recognition for his many accomplishments, including the major awards of all three American gastroenterological organizations: the Distinguished Achievement Award and the Friedenwald Medal from the American Gastroenterology Association; the Rudolph Schindler Award from the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy; and the Clinical Research Award from the American College of Gastroenterology. In the UW Medical department the Cyrus E. Rubin Endowed Chair in Medicine was created in 1997 in his honor, and Gastroenterology Division Heads Sum Lee and John Inadomi have held that chair. Married: May 7, 1947, Waldorf Hotel in NYC, NY to Grace Schechter. Survived by: Grace Rubin, wife of 64 years; son William D. Rubin & daughter Betsy Deutsch; Grandchildren, Aaron Akiva, Anna and Yoni Rubin and Rachel and Sarah Deutsch. Outside of medicine, Cy pursued his many personal interests with equal intensity. He was a generous philanthropist; dedicated oenophile who grew his own grapes; enthusiastic supporter of the arts, education, culture, and good causes of all kinds; singer with Dave Saunders, Don Ostrow, and Chuck Pope in the "Old GI Geezers Quartet"; bonsai artist; amateur archaeologist; and all-around humanist. He also was a founding member of AIPAC in the northwest region. A funeral service was held on Wednesday, December 21, at 1 p.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom, 6800 35th Avenue NE, Seattle. A burial ceremony followed at Abbeyview Cemetery in Brier, Washington. Memorial Donations: In lieu of flowers, we ask that people make a donation to one of the following of Cy's favorite organizations: Doctors Without Borders; American Jewish World Service or NW Harvest.
Published in The Seattle Times on Dec. 28, 2011.