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Ephraim P. Engleman, MD, Honored by the Foundation

The late Dr. Engleman recognized for exemplary contribution to the Rheumatology Research Foundation

November 9, 2015

First Individual to endow an award at the Rheumatology Research Foundation Dr. Ephraim Engleman.

ATLANTA –  Ephraim P. Engleman, MD, the late director of Russell/Engleman Rheumatology Research Center at University of California San Francisco, was recently inducted into the Rheumatology Research Foundation’s Honorary Board of Advisors. The honor is reserved for individuals who have made a transformative contribution, either through monetary support and/or act of leadership, which made an indelible mark on the Foundation’s future fundraising success.

David Wofsy, professor of medicine at UCSF, says, “What I admired most about him was his commitment to philanthropy.  It was a very central principle for him, and he did it in a truly altruistic way without expectation of personal benefit. From the earliest days he recognized the importance of supporting training in rheumatology, increasing the work force and supporting research in rheumatology.” 

Dr. Engleman, who passed away in September, was the first individual to endow an award at the Foundation. His contribution established the Ephraim P. Engleman Endowed Resident Research Preceptorship, which introduces residents to the specialty of rheumatology by supporting a full-time research experience.  Since the award’s inception, it has funded 12 promising physician-scientists and inspired other individuals to establish endowments and support awards at a major-level. Dr. Engleman also included the Foundation in his estate plans and is recognized as a member of the Foundation’s Legacy Society.

Mary Wheatley, Executive Director of the Rheumatology Research Foundation, says, “Dr. Engleman is a legend to the field of rheumatology, and he left a legacy that is greatly deserving of this prestigious honor. His investment in the Ephraim P. Engleman Endowed Resident Research Preceptorship has not only encouraged more new doctors to pursue rheumatology, but it has also inspired other leaders to establish new endowments and awards. We are forever grateful for his commitment to the Foundation and its mission to improve the health of people living with rheumatic diseases.”

Dr. Engleman, is widely regarded as one of the founders of the modern practice of rheumatology and the investigation of its diseases.  Dr. Engleman led the National Commission on Arthritis in the mid-1970s, a congressionally mandated task force charged with suggesting remedies for the inadequate status of arthritis research, teaching and patient care in the U.S., resulting in creation of what is now the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).  He is the founding Director of the Rosalind Russell Medical Research Center for Arthritis at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) which has attracted major contributions from private individuals, enabling it to help underwrite numerous research initiatives.

A past president of the American College of Rheumatology (previously known as the American Rheumatism Association), Dr. Engleman has received numerous awards denoting his distinguished career in rheumatology, including the ACR’s Presidential Gold Medal, which is the highest national honor in the field of rheumatology.  He is also the recipient of the prestigious Gold Medal from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and UCSF’s Medal of Honor, the institution’s highest honor.

Dr. Engleman was inducted into the Foundation’s Honorary Board of Advisors on November 7 at the organization’s Donors of Merit Recognition Event during the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals Annual Meeting in San Francisco.


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