UCSF'S Ephraim Engleman, MD, receives highest honor in rheumatology

By Wallace Ravven

Ephraim (Eph) Engleman, MD, clinical professor of medicine and director of the Rosalind Russell Medical Research Center for Arthritis at UCSF, will receive the Presidential Gold Medal Award of the American College of Rheumatology on October 26, the nation’s highest honor in the field of rheumatology.

Engleman is widely regarded as one of the founders of the modern practice of rheumatology and the investigation of its diseases. He is the founding director of the Rosalind Russell Medical Research Center for Arthritis, a major focus of clinical and basic research to develop more effective, less toxic treatment for the group of diseases known collectively as arthritis.

In the mid-1970s Engleman led the National Commission on Arthritis, a Congressionally mandated task force charged with defining remedies for the inadequate status of arthritis research, teaching and patient care in the United States. The resulting National Arthritis Plan initiated epidemiological studies and national data systems in rheumatology and recommended creation of what is now the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).

A native of San Jose, California, Engleman had a brief career as a professional musician before and during his undergraduate years at Stanford University. He continues to study and perform violin and piano throughout the Bay Area.  He earned an MD from Columbia University and served his medical residencies at UCSF and Tufts University.

He is past president of the American Rheumatism Association - now the American College of Rheumatology—and the National Society of Clinical Rheumatology.

Engleman is the author of more than 100 publications, including The Arthritis Book: A Guide for Patients and their Families, co-authored with Milton Silverman. Among his many honors, he has served as visiting lecturer at Mayo Clinic and at Harvard’s Robert Brigham Hospital; Master of the American College of Rheumatology; honorary membership in rheumatology societies in six countries; creation of the Ephraim P. Engleman Distinguished Professorship in Rheumatology at UCSF and winner of the UCSF Medal of Honor.

Engleman will receive the Presidential Gold Medal Award Saturday morning at the annual meeting of American College of Rheumatologists in New Orleans.