Campus Mourns Loss of Outstanding Physician, Educator

May 20, 2005

Robert Lull

Robert Lull, MD, clinical professor of radiology and chief of nuclear medicine at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH), died unexpectedly on May 19. Colleagues on both the UCSF and SFGH campuses have said he will be sorely missed, remembering him as a dedicated professional who made important contributions to his field. Lull was known for his infectious smile and his natural friendliness toward colleagues and strangers alike. Ron Arenson, MD, chair of the Department of Radiology, said Lull had a strong national reputation as an outstanding physician and educator. He made hundreds of scientific presentations at local, regional and national meetings, and was the author of numerous publications in medical journals. Noting that he was extremely saddened to hear the news, Arenson said that Lull was known for his dedication to clinical work and to his patients, and he did an exemplary job running the nuclear medicine residency program. "He will be sorely missed as a friend, colleague and excellent educator by all of us in the Bay Area and by those he trained, who are now all over the country." In a joint statement to the SFGH community, Sue Carlisle, MD, associate dean of the UCSF School of Medicine at SFGH, and Valerie Ng, MD, chief of staff at SFGH, said, "We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss and will miss him as a dedicated physician, friend, teacher and colleague." Lull served from 1976 to 1990 as chief of the nuclear medicine service at the Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco, where he also was director of the Nuclear Medicine Residency Program. He retired from active duty in the US Army in 1990 and received the Legion of Merit Award. He then joined the Department of Laboratory Medicine at SFGH as associate chief of nuclear medicine, becoming chief in 1991. When nuclear medicine became part of the Department of Radiology at SFGH in 1993, Lull became a clinical professor of radiology and the director of the UCSF Nuclear Medicine Residency Program. Lull served as a member of numerous professional committees and organizations, including the University Radiation Safety Committee, and served as a board member and vice chair of the Quality Assurance Committee of the San Francisco Health Plan. He recently served as president of the San Francisco Medical Society and had continued to serve as a California Commissioner of the Southwestern Low Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission. He also chaired the National Eagle Alliance, which promotes appropriate use of nuclear technologies. He represented California physicians as a member of the Nuclear Medicine Advisory Council for the California Bureau of Radiological Health and as chair of the Nuclear Medicine Advisory Panel of the California Medical Association's Council on Scientific Affairs. Lull served as chair of the Society of Nuclear Medicine's Academic Council and was elected as a member of the American Board of Nuclear Medicine. Lull graduated from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, in 1962, and completed his medical education at Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, in 1966. He served as an intern and completed residency training in internal medicine at the Brooke General Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, then completed residency in nuclear medicine at the William Beaumont General Hospital in El Paso. He is survived by two adult sons. Details concerning arrangements for his funeral or other services will be forthcoming. Faculty or staff, who want to speak with a counselor regarding this unexpected event, are encouraged to contact the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at 415/476-8279 or fsap@hr.ucsf.edu, or ask their supervisor or department manager for assistance. Source: Corinna Kaarlela