On February 23, 2021, Robert A. Zimmerman, MD, a pioneer in the field of pediatric neuroradiology, passed away at age 82.
Dr. Zimmerman graduated medical school in 1964 at Georgetown University School of Medicine, Summa Cum Laude, followed by a residency in diagnostic radiology and a fellowship in special procedures at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) in Philadelphia. In 1969, he left for Europe, where he served as a radiologist for 3 years in the United States Army. After his tour of duty, he returned to HUP and advanced to the title of Professor in both Radiology and Neurosurgery. In 1988, he established the division of Neuroradiology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where he served as the division chief and director of the fellowship program. Under his leadership, the division grew to become one of the largest and most respected pediatric neuroradiology programs in the United States, with a staff currently comprised of 11 pediatric neuroradiologists. Upon his retirement in 2018, CHOP established an Endowed Chair in his honor.
Dr. Zimmerman authored over 400 manuscripts, contributed to over 80 chapters, and co-edited two neuroradiology textbooks. Most notably, he was one of the first to describe the craniocerebral findings of abusive head trauma, cerebral edema and shear injuries related to trauma, and evolution of hematomas on CT. He pioneered the first clinical spiral CT in the United States and worked with General Electric on the development of the first high field, 1.5T, MRI.
From 1995-1996, Dr. Zimmerman served as President of the American Society of Pediatric Neuroradiology (ASPNR). For his dedicated service and seminal work in the field of pediatric neuroradiology, he received the Special Recognition Award from the ASPNR in 2002, later to be known as the Gold Medal Award.
Bob enjoyed traveling the world with his wife, Dianne, gardening, and spending time with his two daughters and two grandchildren. He will be remembered as a champion in the field of pediatric neuroradiology.
David M. Mirsky, MD
Former CHOP Pediatric Neuroradiology Fellow: 2011–2012