American College of Rheumatology Announces 2019 Award Recipients

Leading rheumatology researchers and thought leaders honored for accomplishments and service


Newswise — ATLANTA – The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) announced the 2019 recipients of its Master of the ACR designation, Awards of Distinction, and Distinguished Fellow Award honors during the opening lecture of the 2019 ACR/ARP Annual Meeting. These recognitions are given annually to members who exhibit outstanding contributions to the ACR and the field of rheumatology. 

Master of the ACR Designation

Recognition as a Master is one of the highest honors that the College bestows on its distinguished members. The designation of Master is conferred on ACR members, age 65 or older, 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 2019 recipients of the Masters of the ACR designation are:

  • Nighat Mir Ahmad, MD, MBBS, Rheumatology Department, National Hospital & Medical Centre, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
  • Jürgen Braun, MD, Rheumazentrum Ruhrgebiet, Herne, Germany
  • Calvin R. Brown Jr, MD, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
  • Gerd R. Burmester, MD, Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Charité -, Berlin, Germany
  • Grant W. Cannon, MD, Salt Lake City VA Medical Center and University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Rowland W. Chang, MD, MPH, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 
  • Jonathan S. Coblyn, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • Hani El-Gabalawy, MD, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • Simon Helfgott, MD, Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • James N. Jarvis, MD, University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, NY
  • Sharad Lakhanpal, MBBS, MD, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
  • Ronald M. Laxer, MD, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario
  • Linda Kay Myers, MD, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN
  • J. Lee Nelson, MD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA
  • Chester V. Oddis, MD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburg, PA
  • John J. O'Shea, MD, NIH, Bethesda, MD
  • Michelle Petri, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Carlos Pineda, MD, PhD, Instituto Nacional de Rehabilitacion, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman, MD, DrPH, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
  • John D. Reveille, MD, The University of Texas McGovern Medical School, Houston, TX
  • William F.C. Rigby, MD, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH
  • Lee Stuart Simon, MD, SDG LLC, Cambridge, MA
  • Fredrica E. Smith MD, Retired Rheumatologist, Orono, ME

ACR Awards of Distinction 

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. Winners of this year’s awards are as follows:  

Presidential Gold Medal:

John Patterson Atkinson, MD, MACR, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

The highest award that the ACR can bestow, the Presidential Gold Medal is awarded in recognition of outstanding achievements in rheumatology over an entire career. Established by the past presidents of the ACR, candidates will have made important contributions in multiple areas such as clinical medicine, research, education or administration. Funding support for this award of distinction is provided by the Rheumatology Research Foundation.

Distinguished Basic Investigator Award: 

Bruce N. Cronstein, MD, MACR, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY

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

Distinguished Clinician Scholar Award: 

  1. Timothy Harrington, MD, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI

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: 

Katherine P. Liao, MD, MPH, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Amr H. Sawalha, MD, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

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:

Susan Manzi, MD, MPH, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, PA

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

Paulding Phelps Award:

Alfred Denio, MD, Geisinger Health System, Danville, PA

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

Distinguished Service Award:

Polly J. Ferguson, MD, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA

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

Distinguished Fellowship Program Director Award: 

Marcy B. Bolster, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

The Distinguished Fellowship Program Director Award is awarded to a current or former rheumatology program director that has made outstanding contributions in the mentoring and training of future rheumatologists.

Excellence in Investigative Mentoring Award:

Patricia Katz, PhD, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

The 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. This award honors an active ACR or ARHP member for their contributions to the rheumatology profession through outstanding and ongoing mentoring. Funding support for this award of distinction is provided by the Rheumatology Research Foundation.

Distinguished Fellow Award

The Distinguished Fellow Award recognizes clinical and research fellows who are in a rheumatology fellowship training program and who have performed meritoriously. 

The 2019 recipients of the Distinguished Fellow Award are:

  • Jonathan TL Cheah, MBBS, UMass Memorial Health Care, Worcester, MA
  • Sarah K. Chen, MD, MPH, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • Dana DiRenzo, MD, MHS, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Ali Duarte-Garcia, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • Rebecca Haberman, MD, NYU Langone Health, New York, NY
  • Jean W. Liew, MD, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • Mazen Nasrallah MD, MSc, MGH, Boston, MA
  • Brian Nolan, MD, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
  • Michael A. Paley, MD, PhD, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
  • Natalie Rosenwasser, MD, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle, WA

For more information on each of these awards, and to view past recipients, please visit www.rheumatology.org/Get-Involved/Awards

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About the ACR/ARP Annual Meeting

The ACR/ARP Annual Meeting is the premier meeting in rheumatology. With more than 450 sessions and thousands of abstracts, it offers a superior combination of basic science, clinical science, tech-med courses, career enhancement education and interactive discussions on improving patient care. For more information about the meeting, visit https://www.rheumatology.org/Annual-Meeting, or join the conversation on Twitter by following the official #ACR19 hashtag. 

About the American College of Rheumatology

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is an international medical society representing over 8,500 rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals with a mission to empower rheumatology professionals to excel in their specialty. In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care. Rheumatologists are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases.

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