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“I Was Never Going to Be a Nephrologist Until I Met Him”: How the Late Stewart Cameron Influenced Generations of Nephrologists

John Stewart Cameron 1934 -2023

The global kidney care community lost a giant last month with the passing of highly esteemed and much-loved nephrologist Professor John Stewart Cameron.

Professor Cameron had a huge presence at the ISN. He was president from 1993-95 and received the Jean Hamburger Award in 2003. An annual World Congress of Nephrology lecture is named after him. He worked tirelessly to build capacity worldwide, earning the moniker “one-man COMGAN” from Andrew Rees in his “Presentation of the 2003 Jean Hamburger Prize.” As such, he was instrumental in developing the ISN’s Commission for the Global Advancement of Nephrology (COMGAN). On learning of the initiative, as he took up the ISN presidency, he commented that the ISN’s focus had “rightly turned to those areas of the world where the society is most needed, the developing world.”

Many who knew Professor Cameron related how much he impacted their careers. ISN Past President Vivek Jha* stated that Professor Cameron played a critically influential role in his taking up a career in academic nephrology. He described meeting Professor Cameron at the Indian Society of Nephrology Silver Jubilee Conference in 1994: “I peppered him with a series of questions which he fielded so very patiently, and remarkably, he responded to my letters after going back! Truly, we have lost a giant.”

Liz Lightstone*, ISN executive committee member, said, “It’s rare you can say someone changed the course of your life, but Stewart most certainly did. I was never going to be a nephrologist until I met him. Stewart was absolutely one of a kind and inspirational.”

Albert Ong*, recipient of the ISN Lillian Jean Kaplan Prize 2022,  commented, “He was truly a giant in nephrology and influenced many generations – including me- to do nephrology by making it ‘cool.’

More recently, Professor Cameron was a project leader on the Landmark Papers in Nephrology, published by Oxford University Press, which he co-edited alongside John Feehally and Christopher McIntyre.

While Professor Cameron will be deeply missed, his legacy will continue to resonate within the ISN and in kidney care worldwide. The ISN offers sincere condolences to his family, colleagues, and friends.

*Vivek Jha is executive director at The George Institute for Global Health, India.
*Liz Lightstone is professor of Renal Medicine at Imperial College London, UK.
*Albert Ong is professor of Renal Medicine at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Read also: Stewart Cameron Obituary in KI

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