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Obituary Margot Shiner 1923-1998

Branski, David

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition: October 1998 - Volume 27 - Issue 4 - p 397
Original Articles

Jerusalem, Israel

Family, friends, and colleagues mourn the loss of Professor Margot Shiner, a pioneer and worldwide leading figure in the field of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition.

Professor Margot Shiner was born in Berlin in 1923 and graduated from Leeds University Medical School in 1947. She received her Diploma in Child Health (DCH) in 1949, became a member of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) in 1967, then a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCP).

She served initially as a registrar in Internal Medicine and then in Gastroenterology. Then from 1971 to 1983 she was a consultant in Gastroenterology in London at the Central Middlesex Hospital and as a member of the scientific staff of the Medical Research Council at the Clinical Research Centre, Harrow.

She moved to Israel in 1983 and became Head of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Assaf Harofe Medical Center where she was appointed as Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University.

Her original and very important contributions to medicine include:

  • In 1956 the development of small intestinal biopsy as a practical diagnostic procedure, (Lancet 1956;1:17-19). This opened a new horizon in our understanding of pathology, diagnosis and treatment of small intestinal disorders, especially celiac disease (Lancet 1957;2:876).
  • From 1961 until her very last day she performed her pioneering work in electron microscopy of the human small intestine.
  • In 1963, the invention of a sterile tube for bacterial sampling of the intestinal lumen demonstrating the role of intraluminal bacteria in the deconjugation of bile salts.

Professor Shiner was one of the first women in a senior academic position in medicine in general and gastroenterology in particular.

Professor Shiner was a respected member of 11 professional societies around the globe. She published 80 original articles and 7 reviews and editorials in the best international medical journals and 14 book chapters. The last five papers were executed while she was already very ill and yet she continued working as if nothing could stop her. Unfortunately, she passed away on July 31 and could not see the last 2 papers in which she was the major contributor, one on critical evaluation of endoscopic versus capsule biopsies of the small intestinal mucosa; and the other on the role of intraepithelial lymphocytes in inducing apotopsis of enterocytes in celiac disease, published in this issue of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

Professor Shiner wrote a book, Ultrastructure of the Small Intestinal Mucosa in 1983 and a new edition will appear shortly, which she was not able to see.

She left her husband, Alex, three sons, their families, many friends and colleagues brokenhearted, but who will continue to admire her inspiring spirit and innovative mind.

We shall never forget Margot Shiner.

David Branski

Jerusalem, Israel

© 1998 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.