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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 13, 2010


CONTACT:

Karen Mallet (media only)
215-514-9751
km463@georgetown.edu


Georgetown Professor Named Doctor of the Year by Scleroderma Foundation


Washington, DC -- Virginia D. Steen, MD, a professor of medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, has been selected as the Scleroderma Foundation’s 2010 Doctor of the Year for her service to the scleroderma community and the Foundation. Steen was honored during the Foundation’s Annual Awards in Boston this summer.

The Scleroderma Foundation is the national organization for people with scleroderma and their families and friends. Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin and connective tissue. Hardening of the skin is one of the most visible manifestations of the disease.

Currently, Steen is fellowship director in the division of rheumatology at Georgetown. She is also a consultant in rheumatology in the arthritis division of the National Institutes of Health. Steen has made significant contributions to the understanding of the epidemiology and natural history of systemic scleroderma. At Georgetown, she has developed a collaborative research program on early diagnosis and exercise-induced pulmonary hypertension. She was a co-author in 2008 on the first paper to document the existence of exercise-induced pulmonary hypertension in scleroderma.

Steen was a professor of Medicine at University of Pittsburgh before coming to Georgetown in 1995. While there, co-developed a scleroderma database that has tracked more the 3,000 patients over 30 years. This research has resulted in more than 150 publications -- many of which are sentinel studies on risk factors and outcomes for kidney and lung involvement. Her studies on auto-antibodies, pregnancy and survival are some of the most quoted references in the field.

Steen completed her MD at University of Pittsburgh, her residency in internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and was a fellow in rheumatology at the University of Pittsburgh.
Steen serves on the medical advisory board of the National Scleroderma Foundation and has received eight Scleroderma Foundation Research Grants during her career. In 1998, Steen received the American College of Rheumatology Clinical Science Award.

About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), home to 60 percent of the university’s sponsored research funding.




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