Friday, April 19, 2013
Dr. Robyn Barst, PH Pioneer, Has Died
PHA extends our condolences to Samuel Barst, MD, on the passing of his wife Robyn Barst, MD. Dr. Robyn Barst passed away early this morning following a long illness.
Dr. Barst was one of a handful of doctors who were interested in PH in the '70s and '80s, each working separately on this rare and little-understood disease which could initially only be treated by heart-lung transplant. These physicians met and began collaborating on PH research for the first time in the 1980s when the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute invited them to form the first PH registry in the U.S. In the years since, much progress has been made by these doctors - including Dr. Greg Elliott, Dr. Michael McGoon, Dr. Bruce Brundage, Dr. Harold Palevsky, Dr. John Newman and Dr. Stuart Rich -- in understanding the causes and treatments of PH. Their work has expanded scientific knowledge while saving lives, extending lives and improving quality of life for countless patients. Dr. Barst was also responsible for teaching and mentoring the next generation of physicians treating pediatric and adult PH and has consulted with the major corporations developing today's PH treatments. She served as a member and Chair of PHA's Scientific Leadership Council and as an active member of PHA's Board of Trustees.
More recently Dr. Barst was involved in the founding and launch of the Robyn Barst Pediatric PH Research and Mentoring Fund. Through it, she hoped to bring the same level of development to the pediatric segment of this field that she helped bring to the broader field during the past two decades. It is fitting that the Barst Fund - the first pediatric PH research fund in the world - will be making its first grants this year.
We will greatly miss Dr. Barst.
Dr. Barst's family has requested that donations in her memory be made to the Robyn Barst Pediatric PH Research and Mentoring Fund: www.PHAssociation.org/BarstFund