Robert Zollinger (1903-1992) was a master surgeon and educator. After receiving both his undergraduate and medical doctorate from Ohio State, he returned to his alma mater in 1946 when he became professor and then chair of the Department of Surgery.
One of his best-known accomplishments came in 1955 working with Edwin Ellison who he recruited to Ohio State. They were able to link intractable peptic ulcers with malignant tumors of the pancreas. This discovery became known as Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome and has helped advance the study of endocrinology.
Zollinger is one of the few surgeons to be honored as the president of the American College of Surgeons, the president of the American Surgical Association, and Chair of the American Board of Surgery. He was editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Surgery for almost 30 years and frequently toured the country giving lectures on his research. He was awarded the American Medical Association’s Sheen Award in 1977 and received Ohio State’s Joseph M. Sullivan Medal Award.