Zena Stein, 99, dies; Researcher is committed to women’s health

Zena Stein, 99, dies;  Researcher is committed to women’s health


The couple helped write health care guidelines in the South Africa Charter of Freedom, the 1955 Declaration of Principles of the ANC and its allies.

Dr. Stein and Dr. Susser emigrated to Great Britain with their three children in 1958. At first they lived in pensions and worried about money; Dr. Stein worked in a mental hospital at night. After a year, Dr. Susser’s work at the University of Manchester, and Dr. Stein followed him; she was a research assistant there from 1959 to 1965.

In 1965 the family went to the United States, and Dr. Susser received a job offer from Columbia University shortly thereafter. Dr. Stein also began teaching there, first as an associate professor of epidemiology, then as a full professor and in administrative positions at what is now the Mailman School of Public Health. Her work included research into developmental disorders in children.

You and Dr. Susser were founding members of the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center in Columbia, which originally studied diseases of the nervous system.

In 1987 she founded the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University. The center made the first major attempt to raise awareness of women with AIDS. It is now one of the largest centers of its kind in the world and employs approximately 100 researchers and staff in HIV study from a variety of disciplines including psychology, psychiatry, public health, anthropology, sociology and social work.

Dr. Stein retained her South African roots, corresponded with Nelson Mandela, returned to conferences in her home country and spoke out in favor of racial justice in the post-apartheid era.

After retiring full-time in 2003, she continued to write articles with her husband, daughter, and other researchers. Dr. Susser died in 2014. In addition to her daughter and son, Dr. Stein has another daughter, Ruth King; her brother Wilfred Stein; eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.



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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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