Dr. Elliot Weser, founding faculty member, passes away at the age of 89

This message from the Dean of the Long School of Medicine was sent on March 27, 2021

The UT Health San Antonio family mourns the passing of Dr. Elliot Weser, a founding faculty member and original Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, at the age of 89.

Elliot Weser, MD
Elliot Weser, MD

Dr. Weser grew up in the Bronx and earned his medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, followed by a medical internship at the University of Washington/Harborview Hospital in Seattle and residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. He was accepted into Gastroenterology fellowship at the New York Hospital of Cornell Medical Center, training years that were interrupted 1961‐63 by military service, which he carried out in the U.S. Public Health Service at the National Institutes of Health. After the fellowship, he was recruited to be the third GI faculty member at Cornell under the mentorship of the influential GI pioneer Marvin Sleisenger, but within a few years, he soon felt ready for new challenges.

Approached by Dr. Leon Kander, the founding Chairman of Medicine at what would later become UT Health San Antonio, Elliot joined our faculty in 1967, serving as Chief of Gastroenterology for 11 years and participating in developing the curricula and programs of the new medical school. He was an astute clinician who relished physical diagnosis and sought to build relationships with and support the growing new community of private gastroenterologists in San Antonio, many of whom he trained. His research focused on his passions for small bowel physiology, including carbohydrate metabolism and absorption and short gut syndrome, areas to which he made seminal, novel research contributions.

In 1978, Elliot took on the role of Chief of Medicine at Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veteran’s Administration Hospital, a position that he held for the next 20 years, building a reputation as a shrewd and effective administrator who tirelessly advocated for the clinical, research and teaching missions. Upon his retirement from the VA in 1998, grateful colleagues contributed to the establishment of an endowed Distinguished Lectureship named in his honor, annually bringing world-class speakers to our campus since then as Weser Lecturers.

Throughout his life, Elliot was a passionate supporter of the arts and his synagogue, in particular serving as a co‐founder and leader of Temple Chai. His retirement was enlivened by running successfully for election to the Alamo Heights City Council. Elliot was devoted to his wife, Marcia Goren Weser, and was the proud father both to his son Stephen and to his two step‐daughters, Sara and Leah, through Marcia.

Elliot Weser was a friend, colleague and mentor to countless members of the UT Health San Antonio family. He left an indelible mark on this institution and he will be missed. We are better as an institution because of Dr. Weser’s immense contributions and we are grateful.

Please join me in extending our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Marcia Weser and to the entire family.

Robert Hromas, MD
Dean, Long School of Medicine

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