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William Steers 1955-2015

William_D._SteersBy Montesbradley (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Last June, we had the great pleasure of hosting Dr. William Steers, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Urology as our guest speaker during the BJUI session at BAUS. He delivered a Prezi presentation entitled “Being Wrong” – an amazing collage of his experiences as a surgeon, innovator, scientist and editor. The lecture struck a chord with many colleagues both senior and junior, purely because of its reflective, personal and candid content. Little did Bill or any of us realise that this would be our last meeting during the British summer.For more information about latest presentation Click drssa. During the USANZ 2015 meeting in Adelaide, we were very sad to hear of his death on the 10 April 2015 after a short battle with cancer. For more info visit cmsmd .


Dr. Steers, born on 19 August 1955, was a Paul Mellon Professor and Chair of the Department of Urology at the School of Medicine of the University of Virginia, President of the American Board of Urology from 2010-2011, initiator of the Charlottesville Men’s Four Miler, and rather proud producer of the wine label from his very own Well Hung Vineyard. Bill was a legend in the world of neuro-urology. He was passionate about Men’s Health and the functional outcomes of robotic assisted radical prostatectomy.

wineryIn addition to his many accomplishments, he was a keen jogger who loved streaming his favourite music on Spotify while editing articles for the Journal of Urology. Bill was a dedicated family man and is survived by his wife, Amy; sons, Colin and Ryan; daughter-in-law, Ali; and grandson, Rex. A celebration of his life will be held on April 18, 2015, from 2-5 pm. at the Steers residence and home of Well Hung Vineyard, Charlottesville, VA.

Bill – your legacy of friendship, collaboration and inspiration for the next generation lives on. For the first time in history, the Journal of Urology led a joint workshop for young international reviewers along with European Urology and the BJUI, during the 2015 meeting of the European Association of Urology in Madrid. We salute your memory as we come to terms with your untimely passing.




10 replies
  1. Henry Woo
    Henry Woo says:

    I only met Bill Steers once and that was at the 2014 BAUS meeting that is mentioned above. I was honoured to have the opportunity to sit next to him at a small dinner hosted by David Quinlan. I was probably guilty for stealing away much of his attention from the rest of the group but his knowledge and wisdom was just so captivating. The following day, we saw his presentation “Being Wrong” and goes without saying that it made an impression on all of us to see him talk on such a sensitive issue. The link below takes us to a slightly earlier version of his talk on “Being Wrong” – most of the slides have being uncoupled from slide progression so will need to be viewed by manually clicking onto the slides.


  2. David Quinlan
    David Quinlan says:

    I first met Bill in the mid 1980’s. He was doing a Fellowship in Pittsburgh and I was in the middle of my Residency in Baltimore. He had some disagreements with me (which he was not inhibited in telling me about !!!!!!) regarding some research I had done on nerve regeneration. He was, at that time, already an excellent neuroscientist and I listened. His career since that encounter focussed on the pursuit of excellence and he always sought the truth. His tenure as Chairman in Virginia and his role as Editor of The Journal of Urology followed those tenets. But, I also knew that he was a great family man and that the whole family would harvest the grapes and toil at their winery “Well Hung Vineyards”. A couple of years ago, Craig and Cathy Peters came to stay with Patricia and myself in Wicklow and brought us a bottle of Bill’s Cabernet Franc. Knowing the professional Bill I had met decades before, I was initially a bit taken aback at the name of their Vineyards and the amusing label of the bottle with the grapes obscuring the unmentionables. That pointed out to me that there was another side of Bill I had not yet encountered. Prokar and I both felt it would be wonderful to have Bill as one of our BJUI guest speakers at the 2014 BAUS Annual Meeting in Liverpool. We both wanted the Editor of J Urol as a BJUI guest speaker and we both wanted Bill’s view of the Urological World, but, just as importantly, I was intrigued to see the real Bill. I did. We had a wonderful time in Liverpool. He gave a great talk on “Being Wrong” which already tells you that, despite his accomplishments, there was a humble man beneath. He also was fabulously engaging socially and we spent our time talking about Wine and Family and not Nerve Regeneration or Urology. He had a great time. Like everyone, I am now just stunned that, not yet a year after our time in Liverpool, he is gone. Looking back I am so glad that Prokar and I agreed to have him to Liverpool, because I met and enjoyed the real Bill Steers. My bottle of Cabernet Franc is going to require a pretty important and appropriate occasion for me to un-cork it! When I do I will remember, and toast to, a truly great man.

  3. Damien Bolton
    Damien Bolton says:

    Bill Steers exemplified the virtue of being a leader without demanding overt recognition of his achievements. His “Being Wrong” presentation demonstrated this and as is said above left an impression on many in regard to being a better practitioner and a more honest person. He was unfailingly polite and in my experience always had time for others. Vale to a man who personified how to lead and concurrently be a friend and colleague.

  4. Michael Rauchenwald
    Michael Rauchenwald says:

    I spent a year with Bill doing research in his lab @UVA in Charlottesville in the early 90s …
    we did not meet too often since then, but I enjoyed our traditional dinners with friends when we met at AUA meetings!
    He was an exceptional personality, not to mention his scientific expertise.
    I cannot believe that he is gone …

  5. Peter Schlegel
    Peter Schlegel says:

    We miss Bill terribly. He was always the quintessential model of who and what you should be. As a chair, he was a leader who demonstrated through his research, clinical care and contributions to urology how other faculty should perform. As an editor for JU, he was fair, thoughtful and forward-thinking. It is difficult to be an effective editor – advocating for having the best content while supporting junior investigators to have their new ideas and novel concepts published. On the various committees and Boards that Bill served, I had the privilege to see how he would support individuals and discussion while maintaining an effective focus. What was most important to us was his clear dedication to Amy and his family. He would speak routinely about his sons, and it was clear how important and central to his life his family was. Samantha and I miss him dearly. His passing is a great loss to us all, but the roles he served and example of his life allows us all to continue to be better people. This was clearly and simply demonstrated shortly after I became a chair at Cornell. I asked Bill to come to New York to meet and talk with our residents in a more informal setting. There is no one who could provide a better example of how to develop yourself and give to the urologic community as well as your family.

  6. Roger Kirby
    Roger Kirby says:

    Bill Steers was a tremendous asset to urology and will be so sadly missed by us all. Always cheerful, energetic and positive, Bill championed neurourology as a subspecialty and was heavily influenced by William de Groat, the famous neurophysiologist, who was his special mentor. His sterling work as editor of the Journal of Urology was appreciated by us all. An oenophile, who ceated his own vineyard, Bill was always happy to disuss and discourse about the fruit of the vine. I am just on my way back from the AAGUS meeting in San Francisco where everyone was saddened by his recent death from cancer. Our deepest condolences go out to Bill’s family, who I know will be devastated by their untimely loss. Urology will be so much poorer for his passing.

  7. Declan Murphy
    Declan Murphy says:

    Vale Bill Steers. A brilliant mind and a wonderful, insightful physician. I have just been enjoying his editorial comments in this month’s J Urol – astute and erudite as ever. He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed.

  8. Craig Peters
    Craig Peters says:

    All of us in surgery owe large debts to our mentors. They provide education, motivation, insight, opportunities and support. Most of our mentors are senior to us, but for me, Bill was a mentor-colleague, a unique combination. Bill had a wonderful way to generate excitement and enthusiasm about research, surgery, living well, and family. All of these are important in our lives and we often need reminding as to their importance and critical role they play in each of our lives. Bill was no Pollyanna, but he always focused on the positive, on doing new things and doing them well. Those of us who were privileged to have shared his friendship and worked with him owe the debt to our colleagues and trainees to share that approach to life, career, and family above all. We will miss him.

  9. Culley Carson
    Culley Carson says:

    Bill Steers was not only a urologist but a man of many talents, interests and passions. He clearly added great energy and foresight to urology through his editorship of the Journal of Urology and built a very strong program at the University of Virginia. He was, however, in addition to his urology efforts a great friend, conversationalist, oenophile and human being. Bill worked very hard and with great passion in all of these endeavors.

    I will miss Bill as a friend and colleague, but we will all miss a great human being.

  10. Raymond Wohl
    Raymond Wohl says:

    Farewell Bill Steers. Bill was my classmate at St. John’s Jesuit High School in Toledo, Ohio. He was the top science student in the class of ’73. I was lucky to be pictured with Bill in the Toledo Blade paper as a fellow young science student (teachers: Lotze, Sweeney, and Brady). Bill was a runner and track man and he always went the extra mile. He was a man for others. We both were honored with a trip to West Point our senior year for our science experiments. Bill went on to great accomplishments in his profession. We did not stay in touch; so, this note is for Bill’s wife and family and those he left behind. I knew Bill from 1969-73 and he was smart, funny, strong, talented, and passionate about learning and life. Rest in peace.

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