Robert Ira Lewy

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Robert Ira Lewy, M.D., F.A.C.P. (born October 16, 1943) is an American doctor who has conducted research on aspirin therapy in heart disease and safety in recipients of silicone breast implants.


Lewy graduated magna cum laude in 1964 from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, majoring in Biology. He was awarded the Roberts Prize in Biology, and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He chaired the Committee for Social Responsibility, welcomed Martin Luther King to the campus and arranged for collaboration with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), at the time the leading pacifist desegregation voice in the South. He then matriculated at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After one year, he took a leave of absence and was selected as a PhD candidate at the Princeton University Department of Graduate Studies doctoral program in Religion. There he was selected as a Woodrow Wilson scholar, and a William J. Fulbright Scholarship runner-up.

Returning to medical school, he graduated in 1971 from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a Doctor of Medicine degree. His Internship was served at the Philadelphia General Hospital, now defunct, in Philadelphia, and his Residency at the Mercy Catholic Medical Center in Philadelphia. He was then selected for a National Institute of Heart, Lung and Blood grant,[1] and began a two-year Clinical and Research Fellowship in Hematology at the Cardeza Foundation for Hematological Research of the Thomas Jefferson University of Philadelphia. His original research on the effect of aspirin on heart disease led to a period of prolific publishing in the scientific literature.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19] He also held many hospital committee chairmanships, including Chairman, Infectious Disease and Pharmacy Review Committee of The Woman's Hospital of Texas, Chairman, Credentials Committee, Women’s Hospital of Texas and Chairman, Tissue and Therapeutics Committee, The Woman's Hospital of Texas. He holds two board certifications (board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine as an internist and sub-specialist from the American Board of Hematology); he is a member of the American Board of Forensic Examiners and a member of the American College of Rheumatology. He was accepted as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians in 1983.

Lewy practiced clinical hematology and oncology in Houston, Texas from 1979 until 2005, except for a brief period working for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America/Tulsa.[20] During this time he was Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He served as a teaching physician at the St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital of Houston, where he was responsible for training interns, residents and fellows, and served the same function at the Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston on the Baylor College of Medicine Hematology service. During the early years of the AIDS epidemic (1979-1985) he was prominent in the evolution of diagnosis and treatment of hemophiliacs, post-cardiac bypass patients and the gay community of Houston.

His research on allergic aspects of silicone breast implants led to further scientific publications and book chapters during the mid-1990s as well as international scientific and governmental presentations,[21] and peer recognition.[22][23][24][25]

Silicone breast implants became a subject of much controversy in 1995, and Lewy was subpoened both as an expert witness in litigation, interviewed in the popular press and served as a court recognized expert in the Breast Implant Class Action settlement in what the New York Times referred to as a "medical rush to cash in."[26] These implants were removed from the market by the United States Food and Drug Administration due to safety issues. Lewy's disagreement with the New York Times' characterization of the issue was published.[27] In 1993, he suspended his admitting privileges to The Methodist Hospital, while retaining full privileges at his other teaching hospitals including St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, as well as faculty appointments. The Methodist Hospital was the defendant in many breast implant cases, and the place where they were invented by Dr Frank Gerow, according to the article "Silicone City" in Texas Monthly magazine[28] Silicone breast implants were finally rereleased after over ten years when the issues of leakage and rupture he described were corrected.

In 1997, Dr. Lewy was reprimanded and required to pay an administrative penalty of $2,000 by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners.[29] The board's order noted that in 1993, Lewy "was excluded from the medical staff of The Methodist Hospital for inadequate medical record keeping." The Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision reprimanded Dr. Lewy in 2002 based on the Texas action.[30] His license remains in good standing in Texas, California, Pennsylvania and New York, although currently they are inactive due to his retirement in 2005. He remains registered with the American Board of Medical Specialties in Internal Medicine and Hematology. He published several papers regarding drug treatment of high grade brain cancers.[31][32][33]

Scientific 'whistleblowers' remain subject to selective legal and administrative retaliation.[34]

Post Career and Charitable Activities[edit]

He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. In 2006 he donated over $1 million to Stuyvesant High School, his high school alma mater for the establishment of the Dr. Robert Ira Lewy Multimedia Center, to serve as the high school’s central academic research facility.[35] In 2007 Lewy donated his personal library of 7000 books to the school[36] He established a proprietary family genealogy archive at the Leo Baeck Institute[37][38][39][40] and is listed as a Notable Graduate of Stuyvesant High School by the school[41] and the Stuyvesant Alumni Society for "pioneering work connecting hematology and cardiology".[42] In 2006 he wrote regarding guidelines for informing cancer patients[43] and topics in managed care .[44] In 2013 he commented for the New York Times regarding his previous work on aspirin use in heart disease.[45] and drug economics.[46] In December 2013, New York University honored him as a member of the Society of the Torch, which "honors alumni, faculty and friends of New York University who have recognized the importance of planning their philanthropy by providing to the University".[47] He continued publishing on tne management of multiple myeloma,[48] and published his photography.[49]

In late 2013 he made a bequest of $800,000 to New York University to establish the Dr Robert Ira Lewy Permanent Endowment in German Jewish History and Culture at the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies to establish the Dr Robert Ira Lewy Lecture Series In Jewish History and Culture and the Dr. Robert Ira Lewy Fellows In Jewish History and Culture.[50] He is a member of the Legacy Society of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.


  1. ^ National Heart Lung Blood and Ischemia Investigator #5 T32 AM07084-04
  2. ^ Lewy, R.I., Kansu, E.: Prognostic Value of Platelet Counts in Idiopathic Sideroblastic Anemia; Blood; Sl:766-767; 1978.
  3. ^ Lewy, R.I., Smith, J.B., Silver, M.J., Wiener, L.J., Walinsky, P., & Saia, J.: Detection of Thromboxane B-2 in Peripheral Blood of Patients With Prinzmetal's Angina; Prostaglandins and Medicine; Vol. 2: 243-248; 1979.
  4. ^ Lewy, R.I., Smith, J.B., Silver, M.J., Saia, J., Walinsky, P., Wiener, L.: Detection of Thromboxane B2 in Peripheral Blood of Patients with Prinzmetal’s Angina. Clinical Research 27:462A, 1979.
  5. ^ Lewy, R.I., Wiener, L., Smith, J.B., Walinsky, P., Silver, M.J.: Intravenous Heparin Initiates In Vivo Synthesis Release of Thromboxane A-2 in Angina Pectoris; Lancet 2: 97; 1979
  6. ^ Wiener, L., Lewy, R.I., Walinsky, P., Lefer, A.M., Silver, M.J., Smith, J.B.: Thromboxane Release and Coronary Artery Disease Patients During Acute Myocardial Ischemia; Proceedings of the Florence International Conference on Myocardial Infarction; Vol. 1: 388-394; Excerpta Medica; Amsterdam; 1979 (Mason, D.T., Serneri, G.G., Oliver, M.F., Editors).
  7. ^ Lewy, R.I., Wiener, L., Smith, J.B., Walinsky, P., Silver, M.J., Saia, J.: Comparison of Plasma Concentrations of Thromboxane B-2 and Prinzmetal's Variant Angina and Classical Angina Pectoris; Clinical Cardiology; Vol. 2: 404-406; 1979.
  8. ^ Lewy, R.I., Wiener, L., Smith, J.B., Walinsky, P., Silver, M.J.: Measurements of Plasma Thromboxane in Peripheral Blood of Prinzmetal's Angina Patients; Circulation (Supp.) II: 248; 1979.(Presented November 15, 1979 at the Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association, Anaheim, California).
  9. ^ Lewy, R.I., Kansu, E., Gabuzda, T.: Leukemia in Patients with Acquired Idiopathic Sideroblastic Anemia; An Evaluation of Prognostic Indicators; American Journal of Hematology; 6: 323-331; 1979.
  10. ^ Lewy, R.I., Bills, T.K., Dalton, J., Smith, J.B., Silver, M.J.: 19Hydroxyprostaglandin E and Infertility in Human Males; Prostaglandins and Medicine; 2: 367-372; 1979.
  11. ^ Lewy, R.I.: Thromboxane A-2 Release and the Injury-Spasm Hypothesis; Circulation; 62: 668; 1979(Letter).
  12. ^ Lewy, R.I., Effect of Elevated Free Fatty Acids on Thromboxane Release in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease.Hemostasis; 9:134-140; 1980.
  13. ^ Lewy, R.I., Wiener, L., Lefer, A.M., Silver, M.J., Smith, J.B., Thromboxane Release During Pacing-Induced Angina Pectoris; Possible Vaso-Constrictor Influence on the Coronary Vasculature; Circulation; Vol. 61: 1165-1171; 1980.
  14. ^ Michael L.H., Lewy R. I. et al. Thromboxane B2 in Dog Cardiac Lymph.Clinical Research 1980
  15. ^ Lewy, R.I., Thromboxane Release During Pacing-Induced Angina, (Author's Reply); Circulation;63: 237; 1981.
  16. ^ Lewy, R.I., Michael, L.H.: Transmyocardial Platelet Behavior in CAD (Author's Reply); Circulation; 63: 969; 1981.
  17. ^ Lewy, R.I. Thromboxane in Ischemic Heart Disease; New England Journal of Medicine (Letter);305: 106; 1981.
  18. ^ Lewy R.I. Role des thromboxanes dans l’angor spastique et dans l’angor occlusif. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Ischemia and Platelets. Editions de la Revue de Médecine. pp 57-60, 1982.
  19. ^ Lewy, R.I. Role of Thromboxanes in vasotonic versus vaso-occlusive angina. Archives des maladies du Coeur et des Vaisseaux. 76:13-16, 1983.
  20. ^ Davis, K. L., in The [Oklahoma City] Journal Record, August 4, 1999
  21. ^ Lewy, R.I. Laboratory Findings Reveal Potential Harm of Breast Implants. Texas Medicine. 89 (12), 1993
  22. ^ Preface, page x, Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology 210: Immunology of Silicones, M. Potter and N.R. Rose, eds, pages 337-352, Springer Verlag 1996. ISBN 3-540-60272-0
  23. ^ Lewy, R.I Autoimmune Markers and Imaging Abnormalities in Silicone Breast Implant Users. Clinical Research, 42(2), 275A, 1994
  24. ^ Autoimmune Disease and Collagen Dermal Implants. Annals of Internal Medicine, 120(6), 524-525, 1994
  25. ^ Lewy RI. Antinuclear Antibodies, Lipid Disturbances and Central Nervous System Imaging Abnormalities in Silicone Breast Implant Users. Journal of Investigative Medicine 43:333A, 1995
  26. ^ The New York Times, June 13, 1995 - A Case of Justice, or a Total Travesty?; How the Battle Over Breast Implants Took Dow Corning to Chapter 11]
  27. ^ The New York Times, September 25, 1995 – Letter to the editor from Lewy commenting on September 18, 1995 article]
  28. ^ Swartz M., Silicone City, Texas Monthly, August 1995.
  29. ^ Texas State Board of Medical Examiners, August 9, 1997 - In the matter of the medical license of Robert Ira Lewy, M.D.
  30. ^ Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision - Lewy, Robert Ira
  31. ^ Drugs R D vol 5,315-326,2004
  32. ^ Integrative Cancer Therapy, vol 3,157-261,2004
  33. ^ Drugs RD vol 4,91-101,2003
  34. ^ New York Times, "the Whistle-Blowers Quandary,
  35. ^ The Spectator, Volume XCVII, No 6, page 2, "Dedication Ceremony for the Lewy Multimedia Center Held".
  36. ^ "Stuy Alum Donates Library Books,The Spectator, Dec 2,2007
  37. ^
  38. ^ .
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^ List of Stuyvesant High School people
  42. ^
  43. ^ "View from the other side of the stethoscope" Oncology Times, vol 28 issue 16 2006
  44. ^ Evaluation of Anemia, American Journal,of Managed Care, vol 4, no 12, 1711, 1998
  45. ^ "Taking Aspirin at Night May Boost Heart Benefits",New York Times,December 19, 2013
  46. ^ "Drug Makers donation to Co-pay Charity Face Scrutiny", New York Times, December 18, 2013
  47. ^ "New York University Society of the Torch",
  48. ^ What Would the Hematologist Say"
  49. ^
  50. ^ "Dr Robert Ira Lewy Lecture Series",