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Lawrence Edward Shulman

Born  1919

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American rheumatologist, born 1919.

Biography of Lawrence Edward Shulman

Lawrence Edward Shulman completed his internship, residency, and research fellowship in internal medicine and endocrinology at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. He then joined the full-time Medical School Faculty there, becoming the first Director of the Connective Tissue (Rheumatology) Division, whose growth and activities he developed over the next 20 years before he came to the NIH. He was the director of the Connective Tissue Division from 1955 to 1975, when he was succeeded by Mary Betty Stevens. During this period a vigorous and prominent Rheumatology training program with pre- and post-doctoral education was developed under his leadership.

He came to the NIH began in 1976 when he was appointed the first NIH Associate Director for Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases for what was then the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism, and Digestive Diseases. In 1983, he was named Director of the Division of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. He headed this division until the establishment of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) in from 1986. He retired from his position as of October 31, 1994, becoming the first NIAMS Director Emeritus.

A strong supporter of research on both women's health and minorities' health, Shulman has made research on diseases such as osteoporosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma high priorities for the Institute.

He has received a large number of awards and has been elected to honorary membership by numerous societies around the world. In 1996 he received the Award of Merit from NASA at a scientific workshop held in conjunction with a launching of the Columbia space shuttle from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Seven of the 13 scientific experiments carried out on the mission were devoted to investigating the loss of muscle and bone in space. The award was given in recognition of his "dedication and commitment to excellence in establishing the foundation for the successful NASA/NIH program."

His wife, Reni T. Shulman, was a distinguished architect. They married in Zürich in 1959 and moved to Baltimore soon afterwards. His wife died in 2001.

We thank Søren Nørby, Denmark, for information submitted.


  • P. A. Hertzman, H. Falk, E. M. Kilbourne, S. Page and L. E. Shulman:
    The eosinophilia myalgia syndrome: The Los Alamos Conference.
    Journal of Rheumatology, 1991, 10:867-873.
  • R. C. Lawrence, M.C. Hochberg, J.L. Kelsey, F.C. McDuffie, T.A. Medsger, W.R. Felts, L.E. Shulman:
    Estimates of the prevalence of selected arthritic and musculoskeletal diseases in the United States.
    Journal of Rheumatology, 1989, 16(4):427-441.

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