Dr. Victor E. Reuter was born and raised in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico many, many years ago. His father was born in Germany and immigrated with his parents to the United States in the nineteen thirties, to seek a better life. His mother was born in Puerto Rico, educated in Mount Holyoke College and subsequently Yale University, where she met her future husband while both pursued post graduate degrees. They decided to settle in Mayagüez although the family made frequent visits to the paternal grandparents who lived in Denver, Colorado. Victor attended The Lawrenceville School and subsequently the University of Puerto Rico, obtaining a BS in Biology, all the while pursuing his great love for surfing. Whether he achieved greater distinction in academics or “the waves” is hotly debated. He received his MD degree from the Universidad Pedro Henriquez Ureña, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Surfing was no longer an option although during this time he developed a liking (passion?) for racquet sports, including tennis and table tennis. After a 6 month internship in Danbury Hospital/Connecticut he completed a residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital/Philadelphia, under the guidance of Dr. Arthur Patchefsky. Arthur, at the time chief of Surgical Pathology, encouraged Victor to seek additional training (remedial?) at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). In 1983 he joined MSKCC as an American Cancer Society Fellow in Anatomic Pathology and was asked to stay on as Chief Fellow the subsequent year. Some other members of his fellowship class included Marc Rosenblum who is now Chairman of the Department of Pathology at MSKCC (self-proclaimed world expert in neuropathology) as well as Jonathan Epstein, presently Director of Surgical Pathology at Johns Hopkins and who has had a (somewhat) successful career as a genitourinary pathologist. Victor went on to join the staff at MSKCC the following year and has been there ever since, now going on 26 years.
Victor developed a love for genitourinary pathology early on in his career, influenced by his Chairman, Dr. Myron Melamed and Surgical Pathology Service Chief, Dr. Philip Lieberman. It was Dr. Melamed who encouraged him to question the traditional approach to grading and staging urothelial disease. Victor embraced this challenge with passion…the rest is history. It was Dr. Lieberman who constantly told him “you know, renal tumors are confusing, you should do something with them”, and then never forgave Victor for not including him in any subsequent publications. Dr. Lieberman also encouraged (forced) Victor to participate in the weekly urology grand rounds. This turned out to be a defining event, since it is here that he came under the influence of Dr. Willet Whitmore, chief of Urology at MSKCC and one of the recognized fathers of modern day urologic surgical oncology. Dr. Whitmore was a brilliant man, full of contagious enthusiasm, who did everything possible to give those around him, trainees and staff alike, the tools to ask relevant questions. Many other colleagues in Pathology have influenced his career but four in particular come to mind, Juan Rosai (the awesome power of morphology), Peter Rosen (the importance of statistics in the interpretation of morphologic data), William Gerald (it is possible to be a good Pathologist, a successful tissue-based laboratory investigator, a terrific colleague, and a humble human being) and Stephen Sternberg (don’t take yourself too seriously). If you were to ask Victor why he has stayed on at Memorial so many years, he would certainly state that it had very much to do with the vast amount of genitourinary surgical material and the quality of his collaborators across all medical and research disciplines. He would be hard pressed to duplicate this environment elsewhere (according to Dr. Rosenblum, his Chair, “particularly the inflated salary and bonuses that I have showered on him for virtually nothing in return”).
Victor has risen through the ranks in the Department of Pathology at Memorial Hospital becoming Attending Pathologist and Member in the late nineteen nineties. He served in many positions at MSKCC, including Co-Director of the Research Pathology Core of the Cancer Center, Director of the Genitourinary Pathology Research Laboratory, and President of the MSKCC Medical Staff. In 2000 he became Acting Chief of the Surgical Pathology Service and now serves as Vice Chair of the Department of Pathology. In a period of six years (1993-1998) he received three Pathology Fellows Educations Awards, but none since; one has to wonder why. Victor founded a GU pathology fellowship at Memorial in 1991 and many of his trainees have made significant contributions to the field. Victor has been very fortunate to have terrific GU pathology colleagues at Memorial through the years, more recently Satish Tickoo, Semra Olgac, Samson Fine, Anu Gopalan and Hikmat Al-Ahamadie. In fact, where he would be without them is questionable, at best.
Dr. Reuter has developed subspecialty expertise in the entire spectrum of genitourinary pathology, for which he is internationally recognized. He has over 340 peer-reviewed journal publications and serves or has served on 9 Editorial Boards. He is a sought-after lecturer, participating in over 65 regional/national/international meetings and 70 Invited Lectures/Lectureships throughout the world in the last 10 years. He served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and the Dana Farber Kidney Cancer SPORE. He presently serves as Director of the Pathology Core of Memorial’s NIH-NCI sponsored SPORE in prostate cancer and Pathology Core Co-Director of the NIH/NCI sponsored Cancer Center Core Grant. Dr. Rosenblum is very proud of the fact that he has been able to keep Victor employed at Memorial, despite his obvious chronic absenteeism.
However, there is nothing that has given Victor more professional pleasure and satisfaction over the last two decades than his involvement with the USCAP. Besides authoring a large number of abstracts over the years, he has served on the Abstract Review Committee and as Moderator of the Proffered Scientific Abstract Session, Companion Meeting Faculty and evening Specialty Conference Panels on multiple occasions. He was a faculty member for the USCAP Diagnostic Review/Update Course on two separate occasions (1994-1996; 2005-2008). He served on the Education Committee (1996-1998) and then as its Chair (1999-2003). He served as an elected Councilor of the Academy from 2003-2006 and chaired the Academy Bylaws Revisions Committee, which recently led to the revision of our bylaws. He was awarded the F.K. Mostofi Distinguished Service Award in 2007. Of note, he is the first bow tie wearing, non-mainland born GU pathologist to receive this award, a great distinction indeed. What has attracted Victor to the USCAP is clear; it is unwavering commitment to education in the field of Pathology. According to Victor, “it is Executive and Council that define the operational aspects of the Academy, but it is the Education Committee, through its members, that defines our present and future product, which is purely educational. As defined by our bylaws, there is a purity of mission which is refreshing, energizing and empowering”.
But Victor is a family man. He owes much to his wife of 38 years, Maria del Mar, who offered unwavering support and held the family together while he focused on his career, gallivanting near and far, spreading the word. They made a formidable team, both on and off the tennis and paddle courts. Unfortunately Victor no longer plays while Maria del Mar continues to excel. He states that bad knees forced him into retirement although rumors have it that he could no longer bear being overshadowed by his wife’s skill and accomplishments (after all, he is a latino). Their pride and joy are the two young women they have fostered, Glorimar and Maria Victoria. Glorimar continues to amass more Masters degrees in Education, all the while influencing the formative years of many young kids in the Bronx’ public school system. Maria Victoria is “happy as a clam” pursuing her MBA at Penn State. The entire family is excited about Glorimar’s wedding to Ivan this summer in Puerto Rico.