Dr. Robert Steiner is particularly passionate
about newborn screening because it can
prevent serious illnesses, disability, and
even death from occurring. As a medical
geneticist, he treats children with rare,
inherited metabolic diseases such as
Phenylketonuria (PKU). Some of the
conditions in which he is an expert are
treatable, but only optimally if caught in
the newborn period, he emphasized.
“Take PKU, for example. Before the 1960’s,
a child with PKU would go on to be
profoundly intellectually disabled, with
an IQ less than 20,” he said. “Adults with
untreated PKU couldn’t do anything to help
care for themselves. Now, with treatments that are effective because of newborn screening, these individuals are healthy and have normal development.”
Dr. Steiner was recruited to Marshfield Clinic to serve as the executive director of Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation. He accepted the position because of the outstanding reputation of the Clinic and the Research Foundation, and the opportunity to return to Wisconsin. He is a native of Milwaukee.
“I’m also continuing to see patients, so I try to stay up-to-date on developing therapies. I have the luxury of being able to spend as much time as needed with my patients,” he noted.
Dr. Steiner earned his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health, Madison. He completed a pediatrics residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and a fellowship in genetics at University of Washington-Medical Center/Seattle Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.
He and his wife, Sandra (Sam), have four children. He enjoys family activities, bicycling and skiing.
If you are interested in learning more about how to support Dr. Steiner’s work, please contact Pete Schmeling, Development officer at