(Philadelphia) - 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 Center.

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 Service.

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.

Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $7.8 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report’s survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $405 million awarded in the 2017 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report — Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital – the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, a leading provider of highly skilled and compassionate behavioral healthcare.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2017, Penn Medicine provided $500 million to benefit our community.

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