Robert Schilling

Robert Schilling

Robert Schilling is best known for his research on vitamin B12 and pernicious anemia, a treatable but often undetected condition. In 1953 he developed the Schilling test, which is today known as the gold standard test for defective vitamin B12 absorption.

Schilling’s investigations resulted in an enormously important body of scientific work and many national and international recognitions. He received a competitive National Institutes of Health (NIH) lifelong research career award. He served as chair of the hematology section of the American Board of Internal Medicine and president of the Central Society for Clinical Research.

During his tenure at UW–Madison, Schilling served as the chair of the Department of Medicine from 1964 to 1971. He voluntarily

relinquished his NIH lifetime research career award so he could fully dedicate himself to the duties of that major leadership position within the School of Medicine and Public Health.

Even as he gained worldwide recognition, Schilling remained fiercely devoted to his students and patients. He taught the second-year hematology course to medical students for decades until fall 2006. He stopped seeing patients at age 70, but continued teaching, which he called “a permanent joy, because every year there is a new crop of young people.”