In Memorium

Obituary: Dr. Eduardo Slatopolsky, World Renowned Nephrologist

It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to Eduardo Slatopolsky, MD, Professor Emeritus, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Division of Nephrology, who died April 24, 2024.

Eduardo Slatopolsky, world renowned nephrologist

Eduardo dedicated his career to the study of kidney disease and mineral metabolism.  His contributions to the understanding of the pathophysiology of secondary hyperparathyroidism, hyperphosphatemia, and vitamin D biology are recognized worldwide.  He spent his entire career at Washington University, maintaining an active research laboratory for over 50 years.

Eduardo came to the Department of Internal Medicine at WashU as a post-doctoral trainee in the Renal Division in 1963.  By 1967, he was director of the Chromalloy American Kidney Center, a position he held for the next 30 years. 

In the past few years since his retirement in 2016, Eduardo began writing about his life in the Division of Nephrology.  He started the Introduction by stating: “I was born, raised, and educated in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  In 1959 I received my M.D. degree from the Medical School of the University of Buenos Aires, and in the same year I married Judith Hirshfeld, the love of my life.”  Eduardo and Judith were married for 52 years until her death in 2012.

Eduardo continued his writings describing how, since the time he was a 2nd-year medical student, he was fascinated by the role of the kidney not only as an excretory organ but as a critical regulator of fluids and electrolytes and acid-base metabolism among a dozen other functions.  He emphatically stated, “I always knew that I wanted to be a Nephrologist!

A true pioneering physician-scientist, Eduardo remained active in research until his retirement.  The Slatopolsky Lab was one of the first to demonstrate that phosphate retention in both humans and animals increases secretion of parathyroid hormone (PTH).  His team was the first to demonstrate that vitamin D has a direct effect on the suppression of PTH in patients with renal failure.  Other research found that a low phosphate diet can reduce both vascular calcification and mortality in rats with advanced renal insufficiency.  His last manuscript was published in 2017.

Salute, Eduardo! You will be missed.

“Beyond his contributions to the scientific community, Eduardo was revered as a mentor and educator, shaping the minds of future generations of physicians and researchers.
His passion for science and his unwavering commitment to excellence inspired all who had the privilege of learning from him. Eduardo leaves behind a legacy of groundbreaking contributions to our field and a profound impact on the lives of countless patients and colleagues.”

Benjamin Humphreys, MD, PhD, Joseph Friedman Professor of Renal Diseases in Medicine and Chief, WashU Division of Nephrology

Eduardo is survived by three children Diana (Ricardo Kohn), Daniel (Lucila Broide), and Andrea (Morten Olrik) and six grandchildren Shira and David Kohn, Camila and Sasha Slatopolsky, and Nicolas and Tristan Olrik.

A graveside funeral will be held at Mt Sinai Cemetery, 8430 Gravois Rd, St. Louis, MO, 63123,  on Sunday, April 28 at noon.

A celebration of Eduardo life will be held in the future at Washington University School of Medicine.