collage of Dr. Robert Stuart with a patient, Dr. Stuart in a cat in the hat halloween costume, and Dr. Stuart receiving an award

Dr. Robert Stuart Tribute

Robert Stuart, M.D., MUSC’s first medical oncologist, is retiring after more than 30 years at MUSC. Stuart was instrumental in getting MUSC Hollings Cancer Center founded and NCI-designated. He also helped to create the blood and marrow transplant (BMT) program and became a strong advocate for each of his patients. The number of lives he's helped save and the impact he’s had on cancer care in South Carolina is hard to put into words, but patients and colleagues share below about what he's meant to them and the MUSC community for the past three decades.

Most important figure

Dr. David J. Cole

“Innovation is consistently at the core of all Robert has done to change what’s possible for patients and providers in the treatment of cancer, specifically bone marrow transplants and the treatment of acute leukemia. A life-long advocate for his patients, Robert’s vision and dedication has led to higher quality, state-of-the-art cancer care for the entire state. He is arguably the most important figure in the history of clinical cancer medicine in South Carolina to date.”
— David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, MUSC President

Extraordinary contributions

Dr. Robert Stuart and Ben Hagood

“Dr. Stuart’s extraordinary lifetime contributions to our state are for me, and for so many other patients, exceptionally personal. He helped save my life. My family and I, and the thousands of other South Carolinians who have received bone marrow or stem cell transplants at MUSC, are indebted to Dr. Stuart and the teams of physicians, nurses, and other practitioners that he has trained.”
— Ben Hagood, Hollings patient

Compassion for patients

“Dr. Stuart is the most dedicated physician I have ever had the opportunity to work with. Early in my career, he demonstrated such compassion for the patients it compelled me to stay in oncology. Dr. Stuart’s impact on the physicians he has trained has been no less impactful. Over the decades we have worked together, the oncology fellows return again and again to seek his advice and assistance caring for their patients.”
— Laura Milligan, Hollings nurse

Forever grateful

“I think when you see patients 30 years later emailing him and coming to see him, it’s no longer just a doctor. It’s not just a physician who treated them. They are so grateful and thankful that they are alive.

Thank you Dr. Stuart for founding and building one of the best BMT transplant/malignant hematology programs in the country. We will forever be grateful for the many lives you have saved and your contributions to advance the field of medicine.

Personally, he’s just really taught that you have to invest the time and the benefits and the rewards will pay off. We have patients that will forever be grateful. When you see how they come to the meetings and thank Dr. Stuart for their life, it makes it worth it. It makes it worth it to us. It helps us understand why we’re here every day for those patients.”
— Cindy Kramer, Hollings BMT program director

Model physician

“Dr. Stuart has been my caregiver for over a decade. He is the model physician: caring and knowledgeable, wise and compassionate, humble and attentive. I am deeply thankful to Dr. Stuart and will miss him at Hollings.”
— Marty Perlmutter, Hollings patient

Dedicated to life-saving care

Dr. Raymond N. DuBois

“Rarely has an academic clinician-scientist spent an entire career dedicated to delivering life-saving care, discovering the best and most effective care for their patients, reaching across borders to establish the most up-to-date care delivery in his field in other countries, training the next generation of care providers, and establishing state-of-the-art stem cell transplant therapy for the entire population of South Carolina. Dr. Robert Stuart has done all of these things and more.”
— Raymond N. DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., Hollings Director

Committed to excellence

Gerard Silvestri talks with a woman

“I met Rob in 1993 fresh out of my fellowship. I was rounding in the ICU and he had a patient there. He seemed (and probably did) know more about ICU care than I did (and I am a critical care doc by training). He was relentless on behalf of his patients and at first, being young and immature, I took it as an insult to what I thought was good care. Over time we sparred, each grudgingly giving credit to the other on matters of patient care.

Over the next few years though, I came to admire and try to emulate some of his best qualities. First and foremost, he is completely and totally committed to excellence in patient care. Second, he is a master clinician and diagnostician. Third, his patients idolize him. Finally, he is about as old school as it gets and I mean that in the most complimentary way. He never compromised on his principles when it came to providing excellent patient care.

He started bone marrow transplant at MUSC and did the first transplant in the state of South Carolina. He has probably transplanted more folks than any other clinician in this state and likely many nationally. His legacy here will remain long after he retires. Nonetheless, Rob, I was always right on matters of the lung and you were sometimes wrong.”
— Gerard Silvestri, M.D., Hollings pulmonologist

More original than a Sazerac

“When it comes to the MUSC Hematologic Malignancies and BMT program, Dr. Stuart is more original than a Sazerac from 1850s New Orleans! We will miss his guidance and mentorship dearly.”
— Brian Greenwell, M.D., Hollings hematologist

Pushing the needle

Tricia Bentz stands outside

“In terms of pushing the needle, he always had a vision. He always pushed the clinical trials office to think bigger. He had the connections to bring us new resources and look at how we could grow and build. When you look back to where we started, it was his own endurance, creativity, and stamina to get us to where we are today.”
— Tricia Bentz, Hollings CTO director

Support Dr. Stuart's legacy

Please join us in honoring Dr. Stuart and consider donating to a fundraising campaign for the Robert K. Stuart Blood and Marrow Transplant Outpatient Clinic. This innovative clinic will offer private exam rooms, clinical workstations, and a large infusion suite with 13-15 private bays. This new space will provide the necessary infrastructure and resources to substantially grow our program, increasing potential blood, marrow, and stem cell transplant services by over 60% and making it easier for our patients to get care.

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