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Leading rheumatology researchers and thought leaders honored for accomplishments and service

CHICAGO - The American College of Rheumatology today announced the 2011 recipients of its Awards of Distinction honors and Master of the ACR designation.

Recognition as a Master is one of the highest honors that the College bestows on its distinguished emeritus members. The designation of Master is conferred on ACR members, age 65 or older by October 1 of the year in which they are nominated, who have made outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology through scholarly achievement and/or service to their patients, students, and the rheumatology profession. These honorees have devoted their long careers to furthering rheumatology research and improving clinical standards in the treatment of rheumatic diseases.

 The 2011 recipients of the Masters of the ACR designation are:

  • William J. Arnold, MD - Illinois Bone and Joint Institute, Morton Grove, Ill.
  • Neal S. Birnbaum, MD - California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Paul Dieppe, MBBS, MD - University of Oxford, Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital, Oxford, England
  • Robert A. Eisenberg, MD - University of Pennsylvania Department of Medicine, Philadelphia, Penn.
  • M. Eric Gershwin, MD - University of California at Davis Department of Internal Medicine, Davis, Calif.
  • Dafna Gladman MD, FRCPC - University Health Network, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Ont.
  • Michael S. Hershfield, MD - Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C.
  • Robert P. Kimberly, MD - University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Medicine
  • Robert G. Lahita, MD, PhD - Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark, N.J.
  • David S. Pisetsky, MD, PhD - Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C.
  • Richard M. Pope, MD - Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Ill.
  • Adil Samara, MD, PhD - University of Campinas Faculty of Medical Sciences, Sí£o Paolo, Brazil
  • Michael H. Schiff, MD - Denver Arthritis Clinic Research Unit, University of Colorado, Denver
  • Thomas J. Schnitzer, MD, PhD - Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Ill.
  • Benjamin D. Schwartz, MD, PhD - Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Charles H. Spencer, MD - Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
  • Fredrick M. Wigley, MD - Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, Baltimore, Md.
  • Hasan Yazici, MD - Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Medical School, Istanbul, Turkey

The ACR also recognizes leading researchers, clinicians, mentors, and other professionals exhibiting superior commitment to the advancement of the field of rheumatology with the Awards of Distinction honors

The following distinguished professionals will be recognized as recipients of the following awards:

Presidential Gold Medal
William J. Koopman, MD, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Ala.

The College's highest award, the Presidential Gold Medal recognizes outstanding achievements in rheumatology over an entire career. Honorees have made important contributions in areas such as clinical medicine, research, education or administration. This award is supported by an endowed fund created by the past presidents of the ACR and managed by the ACR Research and Education Foundation.

Distinguished Basic Investigator Award
Steven B. Abramson, MD, NYU Langone Medical Center and NYU School of Medicine, New York, N.Y.

The Distinguished Basic Investigator Award is awarded to a basic scientist making outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology.

Distinguished Clinician Scholar Award
Stephen A. Paget, MD, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, N.Y.

The Distinguished Clinician Scholar Award is awarded to a rheumatologist who has made outstanding contributions in clinical medicine, clinical scholarship, or education.

Henry Kunkel Young Investigator Award
Karen H. Costenbader, MD, MPH, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
Theresa T. Lu, MD, PhD, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, N.Y.

The Henry Kunkel Young Investigator Award is awarded to a young physician scientist, age 45 or younger, who has made outstanding and promising independent contributions to basic or clinical research in the field of rheumatology.

Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award
Edward H. Giannini, MSc, DrPH, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

The Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award is to a clinical scientist making outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology. Prior to 2006, this award was known as the Clinical Research Award.

Paulding Phelps Award
Gary L. Bryant, MD, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.

The Paulding Phelps Award is awarded to a clinical rheumatologist for outstanding service to patients, community and the practice of medicine.

Distinguished Service Award
Gregory J. Dennis, MD, Human Genome Sciences, Inc, Washington, DC

The Distinguished Service Award is awarded to an ACR member for outstanding and sustained service to the ACR.

Excellence in Investigative Mentoring Award
Betty Diamond, MD, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, N.Y.

The ACR/REF Excellence in Investigative Mentoring Award recognizes the importance of the mentor/mentee relationship. A dedicated mentor can significantly influence the successful development and career of a mentee. Through the Excellence in Investigative Mentoring Award, the REF honors an active ACR or ARHP member for their contributions to the rheumatology profession through outstanding and ongoing mentoring.

The American College of Rheumatology is an international professional medical society that represents more than 8,000 rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals around the world. Its mission is to advance rheumatology. The ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting is the premier meeting in rheumatology. For more information about the meeting, visit or join the conversation on Twitter by using the official hashtag: #ACR2011.

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