Robert E. Anderson, MD
Dr. Robert E. "Andy" Anderson, MD, was a founding faculty member of the UNM School of Medicine. He served as the Chair of the Department of Pathology from 1968-1991, when he left UNM to become Vice President of the Health Sciences Center at the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Anderson was an inspiring leader who made innovative and lasting contributions to Pathology education, research, and clinical service. He challenged faculty, residents and fellows to always ask the most important questions from the autopsies, biopsies, laboratory data, and clinical information derived from the patients encountered in clinical service.
Dr. Anderson's contributions and leadership on the local, national, and international stage set an example for us today. Not only did he lead at the University of New Mexico and nationally to promote medical education and training, rigorous biomedical research and clinical service, he also made a lasting contribution to the State of New Mexico and the UNM Health Sciences Center through his support of the New Mexico Tumor Registry, the Office of the Medical Investigator and the Cancer Center.
In recognition of his seminal contributions, the UNM Department of Pathology established The Robert E. Anderson endowment to further the outstanding teaching, research, and service missions of the UNM Department of Pathology.
Andy joined Bob Stone's founding of the UNM Department of Pathology in 1964, having finished two years in Japan as a pathologist at the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission in Hiroshima, Japan. ABCC was a joint investigative enterprise operated by the US National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council and the Japanese government. ABCC was designated to study the long-term health effects of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs, including possible genetic effects and other health related effects of radiation exposure in survivors of the bomb, the most significant of which was radiation-induced leukemia.
Andy would be followed to the UNM Department of Pathology by other pathology faculty including Gary Troup, Scott Jordan, and Charles Key, who each spent two or more years at ABCC before coming to UNM School of Medicine. Bob Stone himself had previously served one year at ABCC as Chief of Pathology.
Four years later the first School of Medicine graduates began internships, as the School of Medicine was rapidly expanding the clinical departments and divisions to support postgraduate clinical training. Bob's medical training at Western Reserve University, where there were major changes in medical school education, prepared him for the dramatic changes which were also underway here. The Basic and Clinical Science blocks for medical students with mixed faculty teaching together were exciting for all faculty and Bob was a major leader in these initiatives.
His international involvement in radiation-related disease enriched basic and clinical awareness of the resulting disease epidemiology for our School of Medicine. Since thyroid cancer was one pathophysiologic fallout, the interactions between my endocrinology division and Bob were ongoing and benefited the research and teaching significantly.
I certainly benefited from Bob's dry humor, sharp mind, and enjoyment of New Mexico, together which his strong commitment to clinical and basic research, which resulted in a strong and active Department of Pathology which continues to this day.
— R. Philip Eaton MD, Emeritus Executive Vice President of UNMHSC