Marc Rozner, MD

Class Year



Posted on: January 17, 2018

Marc Allen Rozner, PhD., MD, passed away peacefully on January 9, 2017 after a battle with brain cancer, surrounded by family and close friends. Marc leaves as legacies his two great passions in life – his accomplishments in the field of medicine and his son, Joshua Scott Rozner, who shares Marc’s curiosity, academic enthusiasm, and many of his interests. Marc’s education and career path were winding, and his diverse knowledge served him and his patients extraordinarily well.

Marc received his B.A. in Chemistry from Case Western in 1974 and earned his Ph.D. in toxicology at the University of Rochester in 1980. His fascination with all things mechanical and electrical led him to start his own computer programming company, preparing him for his later work with the “small computers” known as pacemakers. Driven by his perpetual curiosity and relentless desire to learn, he began medical school at the Medical College of Virginia, graduating in 1990. After completing a residency in Anesthesiology in 1994, he joined the faculty at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. He joined MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1998, where he was instrumental in developing the protocol for the perioperative assessment of pacemakers. In 2001, he was elected by his physician peers to the Best Doctors in America and in 2005 to the Association of University Anesthesiologists.

Marc was a tireless advocate for patient care and the advancement of medicine. After becoming the first anesthesiologist in the world to earn CCDS (Certified Cardiac Device Specialist) status from the International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners in 2001, he helped six more anesthesiologists earn the same certification. He presented across the world and published over 100 manuscripts, book chapters, and meeting abstracts. He effected practice changes and safety improvements, especially in implanted pacemaker and defibrillator care. He helped pioneer safe magnetic resonance imaging in patients with these devices, performing nearly 500 such procedures without any patient injury.

Marc cared deeply about his institution, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and his colleagues, and served on numerous committees. He had over 200 mentees and was always eager to answer questions or offer advice on any topic. In 2016, MD Anderson recognized his dedication by creating the Marc A Rozner, Ph.D., M.D., Endowment for Outstanding Clinical Service and by granting him the Distinguished Service Award for his exemplary clinical care, contributions to clinical research, and commitment to education and mentoring.

Outside of medicine, Marc was fond of bowties, kitties, and jazz. His passion for tinkering brought him happiness, and his capacity to repair anything, from diagnosing computers to rewiring houses, earned the eternal appreciation of friends and neighbors. Marc was an avid ballroom dancer and could not resist doing the Lindy, Foxtrot, or Waltz when the music was playing. He loved to ski and often combined this passion with speaking at winter conferences. He could be found in his characteristic purple shirt talking pacemakers in the morning and on the slopes in the afternoon.

In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife Hazel Heddings, MD, sister Jerrilyn Rozner, brother Jeff Rozner, and long time friend Short Stuff. He remains indebted to his own mentors, including Bob McAfoos, Edgar Pulsifer, Donald Taves, Tom Feeley, and Paul Levine.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Marc Rozner endowment or to the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF). For the endowment, donations can be made to the Development Office, MDACC, PO Box 4486, Houston, TX 77210-4486, attn: Marc A. Rozner, Ph.D., M.D., Endowment in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine or by calling 713-792-3450.