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Thomas Medsger, M.D., Receives “Doctor of the Year” Award From Scleroderma Foundation

PITTSBURGH, June 24, 2005 — Thomas A. Medsger, M.D., Jr., Gerald P. Rodnan Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, recently received the “Doctor of the Year” Award from the Scleroderma Foundation in recognition of his career-long work in clinical research and treatment of scleroderma.

Dr. Medsger, who also serves as division chief of rheumatology and clinical immunology and is director of the Scleroderma Research Program and UPMC’s Scleroderma Clinic, received the award this week at the Scleroderma Foundation’s annual meeting in Boston, where he served as a principal speaker.

Dr. Medsger is world-recognized for scleroderma research and has made significant contributions to understanding the epidemiology, clinical and laboratory features and natural history of this disease. He also has published on adult-onset Still's disease, polymyositis-dermatomyositis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Raynaud's disease and Sjogren's disease.

Scleroderma is a chronic connective tissue disease generally classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases. Hardening of the skin is one of the most visible manifestations of the disease. It is estimated that there are 300,000 persons with scleroderma in the United States, including 80,000 to 100,000 with the systemic form and the rest with the localized form.

The Scleroderma Foundation is the national organization for people with scleroderma and their families and friends. It was formed January 1, 1998, by a merger between the West Coast-based United Scleroderma Foundation and the East Coast-based Scleroderma Federation. Dr. Medsger chaired the foundation’s combined Research Grants Committee for three years and for the last 10 years has served as treasurer and member of the board of directors of the foundation’s Western PA Chapter.

Dr. Medsger received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, after which he completed an internship at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, his internal medicine residency at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital and his rheumatology fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. He received his undergraduate degree from Haverford College.

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