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Dr. Robert E. Reisman, specialist in allergies, immunology

Nov. 1, 1932 – Nov. 16, 2012

Dr. Robert E. Reisman, an internationally known specialist in allergies and immunology, died last Friday in Buffalo General Medical Center. He was 80.

Born in Buffalo, Dr. Reisman was a 1956 graduate of the University of Buffalo Medical School. He completed his training in internal medicine at Buffalo General Hospital and completed his training in allergy and immunology both at Buffalo General and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. He was board-certified in internal medicine and in allergy and immunology.

Dr. Reisman entered the field of allergy and immunology when it was still in its infancy. In a career that spanned more than 40 years, he helped make fundamental discoveries that led to relief for millions of allergy sufferers.

In the 1960s, Dr. Reisman was one of a small cadre of physicians in private practice still funded by competitive grants from the National Institutes of Health. His early work helped define the mechanisms of allergies to penicillin. In addition, he published dozens of scientific papers on insect-sting hypersensitivity and was widely regarded as one of the world’s authorities in the field.

He was elected a Master of the American College of Physicians, one of the college’s top awards. He also served as the president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, a professional medical membership organization of nearly 6,600 allergist/immunologists and related professionals from around the world; the organization named Dr. Reisman its Distinguished Clinician of the Year in 2003.

In addition, he was one of eight physicians from Children’s Hospital, which is now known as Women and Children’s Hospital, to be named in the 1992-93 edition of Woodward & White’s “Best Doctors in America.”

In 1967, Dr. Reisman was drafted into the Army, serving as an allergist at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, until 1969. He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel before returning to civilian life Buffalo, where he began his practice.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, the former Rena Estry; three daughters, Jeanne, Nancy and Linda; a son, David E.; and a brother, David S.

A funeral was held Sunday in Temple Beth Zion.

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