Reuben Cherniack was born in Canora, Saskatchewan. He attended school in Winnipeg and graduated with a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1948. After graduating, he pursued education and clinical training at the Winnipeg General Hospital, the Medicine and Physiology departments at the University of Manitoba, Columbia University in New York, and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Dr. Cherniack returned to Manitoba in 1954 and was awarded the Markel Scholarship in medical science, and the following year he received fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. In 1968, he was invited to become a charter member of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars – an honour only conferred on former post-doctoral fellows from Johns Hopkins who have achieved distinction in the sciences or humanities.
After the ICU opened in 1966, Dr. Cherniack served as Unit Director. The following year, he was appointed as Associate Dean of the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Medicine and he also served as director of the University’s Joint Respiratory Program. In 1974, Dr. Reuben Cherniack was appointed Head of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Manitoba and at the Health Sciences Centre where he pushed to establish the department as one of the leading pulmonary physiology institutions. From 1978 to 1984, Dr. Cherniack was the Chair of the Department of Medicine of the National Jewish Hospital Research Center in Denver, Colorado; he served as a faculty member there after 1984.
Dr. Reuben Cherniack passed away on July 14, 2016.