Press Releases for 1995

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
July 7, 1995
Contacts: Marc Stern, NIH
Constance Raab, NIAMS
(301) 496-2535

Dr. Stephen I. Katz Named to Direct
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Harold Varmus, M.D., director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has announced the appointment of Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D, an internationally known dermatologist and immunologist, as director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). The appointment is effective August 1, 1995. Katz succeeds Michael D. Lockshin, M.D., acting director, NIAMS, and Lawrence E. Shulman, M.D., Ph.D., the first and founding director of the Institute.

In making the announcement, Varmus said, "Dr. Katz's outstanding scientific and clinical credentials and effective leadership skills make him a clear choice for this important post. He has demonstrated a commitment to building strong scientific programs at the NIH. He will provide excellent leadership at the NIAMS."

The NIAMS leads the Federal biomedical research effort in disorders of the joints, bones, musculoskeletal system, muscles, and skin as well as the normal structure and function of these tissues. The Institute conducts and supports basic, clinical, and epidemiologic research, sponsors research training, and disseminates information on the topics under its purview. The NIAMS will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 1996. Says Katz, "I view this appointment as a tremendous challenge and an opportunity to participate in setting health research policy and priorities that address the chronic and often disabling diseases with which the Institute is concerned. Many of these diseases are those that I have been interested in for most of my professional life."

Katz is chief of the Dermatology Branch within the intramural program of the NIH's National Cancer Institute (NCI), a position that he will maintain. He is also Marion B. Sulzberger Professor of Dermatology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, a position that he will relinquish at the end of July 1995.

Katz' studies of Langerhans cells and epidermally derived cytokines have demonstrated that skin is a critical component of the immune system both in its normal function and as a target in immunologically mediated diseases. He has also made seminal discoveries in the field of inherited and acquired blistering skin diseases.

At the NCI, Katz has led a program of investigations in fundamental biological and clinical problems in neoplastic and nonneoplastic diseases of the skin. He has trained a large number of outstanding immunodermatologists in and outside of the United States. These individuals are now leading their own high-quality independent research programs.

He has received many government and private sector awards, including the Presidential Executive Meritorious Rank Award, the Public Health Service Superior Service Award, the NIH Director's Award, the Sulzberger Lecture Award of the American Academy of Dermatology, honorary membership in many international dermatologic societies, and 1992 election into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Katz has served many scientific organizations in leadership positions, such as president of the Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID), membership on the Board of Directors of the SID and of the Association of Professors of Dermatology, Secretary-general of the 18th World Congress of Dermatology in New York in 1992, and Secretary-treasurer of the Clinical Immunology Society. He has also served on the editorial boards of most clinical and investigative dermatology journals and of many immunology journals. Katz has authored or coauthored more than 180 scientific articles and 50 book chapters and edited several conference proceedings.

Katz was born in New York City in 1941 and grew up in the Washington, D.C., and Bethesda, Maryland, areas. He earned a B.A. degree cum laude in history from the University of Maryland, College Park; an M.D. degree cum laude from Tulane University Medical School, New Orleans, Louisiana; and a Ph.D. degree in immunology from the University of London in England. He completed a medical internship at Los Angeles County Hospital, a residency in dermatology at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Florida, military service at Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington, D.C., and postdoctoral work at the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He joined the National Institutes of Health in 1974 as a senior investigator in the Dermatology Branch of the NCI, becoming acting chief in 1977, and chief in 1980.