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Professor emeritus of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine Robert Roy MacGregor III, M.D.

Robert Roy MacGregor III, M.D., professor emeritus of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine and expert in infectious diseases, died at 84 on May 12, 2022, from kidney failure, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Born in 1938, MacGregor earned a bachelor's degree from Princeton University in 1960. After graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1964, he then completed a residency at Boston City Hospital, now Boston Medical Center, and participated in a fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of Washington. 

MacGregor joined Penn as an assistant professor of medicine in 1971 alongside colleague Richard Root, who he met during work at the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation at the National Institutes of Health. They co-founded Penn’s Division of Infectious Diseases and served as chair of the division from 1975 to 1990. He launched Penn’s HIV clinical program in 1988 and made many strides in the treatment and care of patients with HIV.

MacGregor also helped found the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s infectious diseases’ outpatient clinic in 1988, which was renamed the MacGregor Infectious Diseases Clinic in 2006 in honor of his contributions.

MacGregor personally treated many HIV patients and contributed to the development of an early vaccine for HIV. In the 1990s, he also served on Penn’s HIV/AIDS Task Force to help mitigate the spread of the virus, despite its surrounding stigma.

“In my 35 years at Penn I have always tried to emphasize we are not just dealing with disease but we are dealing with people," MacGregor said in a 2006 article

As both a professor and a researcher, MacGregor mentored hundreds of Penn students and faculty on essential medical skills. He retired from Penn in 2005 and accepted emeritus status. In the following year, he received the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award recognizing his cultural sensitivity while working with patients from diverse backgrounds.

He is survived by his wife, Peggy MacGregor, son Matthew, and daughters Laura and Sarah.

A celebration of his life will be held at Summit Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17.