| November 6, 2001
Reed E. Pyeritz, MD, PhD, Named Professor
of Medicine and Chief of Medical Genetics
- Reed E. Pyeritz, MD, PhD, has accepted the
position of Professor of Medicine at the University
of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Chief of
the Division of Medical Genetics at Penn Medical
Pyeritz has been actively engaged in research on heritable
disorders of connective tissue for the past two decades.
His particular focus has been Marfan syndrome, the malady
often thought to have affected Abraham Lincoln. He is
widely regarded as the preeminent scholar and clinician
for this relatively common genetic condition; and is
the major contributor to the extension of life expectancy
in Marfan syndrome -- from 32 years when he first began
studying the condition, to a nearly normal life span
for patients born today.
He is currently involved in defining the risk factors
that predispose those with the syndrome to develop tears
in the wall of the aorta, as well as developing MRI
approaches to quantifying an individual's risk for this
to occur. Pyeritz has also make significant contributions
in investigating medical genetic services, as he led
the first team to study the economic issues of this
new medical specialty.
Pyeritz earned his MA and PhD in biological chemistry
from Harvard University, and his MD from Harvard Medical
School. He is also the first graduate of the Harvard
Medical Scientist Training Program. He took his internship
and assistant residency at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital
in Boston, and his senior residency at Johns Hopkins.
He then joined the faculty at Hopkins, where he became
Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and Clinical Director
of the Center for Medical Genetics.
In 1993, Pyeritz went to Allegheny General Hospital
and became Chair of the Department of Human Genetics
and Director of the Institute for Medical Genetics of
MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine. He is board certified
in both internal medicine and clinical genetics.
Pyeritz is an elected member of the American Society
of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American
Physicians. He helped found the National Marfan Foundation
and continues to serve on its Professional Advisory
Board. He is medical advisor to the Alliance of Genetic
Support Groups, and has also served as chair of the
program committee for the American Society of Human
Genetics. In 1991, he was one of the founders of the
American College of Medical Genetics, and later became
its second president. Pyeritz currently serves as the
president of the Association of Professors of Human
or Medical Genetics.
He has served on the editorial boards of the American
Journal of Medical Genetics, the New England
Journal of Medicine, and the Journal of the American
Medical Association. He has published nearly 200
articles and is the co-editor of the standard text in
the field, Principles and Practice of Medical Genetics,
now in its fourth edition.
Pyeritz has also enjoyed a leading role in teaching
human and medical genetics, as well as broadening this
area's accessibility. At Johns Hopkins, in addition
to directing the medical genetics course for second
year students, he helped to organize and then served
as the first chair of the Medical Ethics Consultation
He also served as associate director of one of the General
Clinical Research Centers and co-director of both the
clinical skills and human pathophysiology courses. While
at MCP Hahnemann, he developed a new course in genetics,
along with a new, accredited genetic residency. He also
established a new curricular pathway for MD-PhD students.
He has organized numerous continuing medical education
courses, and is frequently asked to present grand rounds
at institutions around the country.
Pyeritz lives with his wife, Jane, and their two daughters
in Radnor, Pennsylvania.