Ephraim Engleman, rheumatologist, died at 104

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Ephraim Engleman, born on March 24, 1911 and died September 2, 2015, he was an American Rheumatologist and a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

He has had major national and international impact on rheumatology over the past six decades, and has written more than one hundred scientific and medical papers.

Dr. Engleman received his M.D. from Columbia University in 1937. He saw military service as a Major during World War II, serving as Chief of an Army’s Rheumatic Fever Center.

In 1947, he joined the clinical faculty at UCSF and has continued at UCSF ever since.

Over the past six decades, Dr. Engleman has had major national and international impact on rheumatology. From 1962-1963, Dr. Engleman was President of the American Rheumatism Association (ARA) – now the American College of Rheumatology (ACR); President of the National Society of Clinical Rheumatology (1967-1969); President of the International League Against Rheumatism (1981-1985).

In the latter position, he made several trips to mainland China and was influential in the creation of the Chinese Rheumatology Association.

He also served as Chairman of the World Health Organization’s Task Force on Arthritis and on several committees of the Natural Institutes of Health.

From 1975-1976, Dr. Engleman chaired the National Commission on Arthritis, a congressional mandated task force charged with recommending remedies for the inadequate status of arthritis research, teaching and patient care in the United States.

The National Arthritis Plan, which summarized the Commission’s recommendations, most of which were implemented, included the creation of what is now the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and tripling of the ongoing federal budget for arthritis research.

It also called attention to the surprising number of medical schools with no curriculum in rheumatology – a situation that changed quickly after the Plan’s publication.

In 1979, Dr. Engleman became Founding Director of the Rosalind Russell Medical Research Center for Arthritis at UCSF. Its name has since changed, Dr. Engleman is presently the Director of the Rosalind Russell/Ephraim P. Engleman Rheumatology Research Center at UCSF.

Some of Dr. Engelman’s additional honors are recipient of the Medal of Honor at UCSF, “the most prestigious award given by UCSF” ; recipient of the Presidential Gold Medal Award of the American College of Rheumatology, the highest national honor in the field of rheumatology; and recipient of Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons Gold Medal for excellence in clinical medicine, the highest honor the school’s alumni association can bestow.

Engleman recently published book, My Century, is available on Amazon. Proceeds of My Century go to the Rosalind Russell/Ephraim P. Engleman Medical Research Center for Arthritis at UCSF.

Still active at the age of 104, he is the longest tenured professor of UCSF as of December 30, 2013.

As of January 2013, he was believed to be the lone surviving member of Stanford University’s Class of 1933.

On September 2, 2015, Engleman passed away at the age of 104 while at work as director of the Rosalind Russell/Ephraim P. Engleman Rheumatology Research Center at UCSF, which had been renamed in his honor the previous year.

Engleman is survived by his wife, his two sons, daughter Jill Roost, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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