March of Dimes Mourns the Passing of David Rimoin, MD, PhD

Leader in the Field of Medical Genetics Remembered for Four Decades of Volunteer Service to Maternal and Infant Health

White Plains, New York | Tuesday, May 29, 2012

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David Rimoin, MD, PhD, a researcher and geneticist who gave a lifetime of service to the March of Dimes, died May 27th from pancreatic cancer. He was 75.

Dr. Rimoin served on numerous scientific advisory committees for the organization, most recently as a member of the Transdisciplinary Research Advisory Committee. “We have lost a leader and visionary in the field of medical genetics, and words cannot express our sadness. We send our deepest condolences to David’s entire family,” said Jennifer L. Howse, PhD, president of the March of Dimes.“David was a highly valued volunteer who dedicated a lifetime of service to the March of Dimes as a scientific advisor, grant reviewer, friend and so much more.”

“David’s work made a significant impact on science and medicine which will continue to live on,” said Joe Leigh Simpson, MD, March of Dimes, senior vice president for Research and Global Programs. “David was a highly respected educator and mentor and devoted a lifetime of volunteer service to many March of Dimes committees, most recent to our Transdisciplinary Research Advisory Committee. He was a visionary in finding new ways to address the complex problem of preterm birth.

Dr. Rimoin was the director of the Medical Genetics Institute, the Steven Spielberg Family Chair in Pediatrics and the Distinguished Professor in Pediatrics at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He was professor of Pediatrics, Medicine, and Human Genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

He was the founding president of the American College of Medical Genetics and the American Board of Medical Genetics. In addition, he served as President of the American Society of Human Genetics, Western Society for Pediatric Research and Western Society for Clinical Research. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Rimoin was a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars and a Master of the American College of Physicians.

Dr. Rimoin made many genetic discoveries since earning his doctorate in human genetics from the Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, in Baltimore in 1967. He received the 1997 March of Dimes Colonel Harland Sanders Award for Lifetime Achievement in Genetics Sciences for his work explaining the genetic basis for skeletal dysplasias: abnormalities in the size and shape of the limbs, trunk and skull. He also showed that diabetes mellitus was the result of the interaction of multiple genetic variants, laying foundation for the field of common disease genetics.

He served as a member of various March of Dimes medical and research advisory committees, including the Advisory Committee on Genetic Services and the Advisory Panel for Basil O'Connor Research Program.

He co-authored Emery and Rimoin’s Principles and Practice of Medical Genetics a textbook, first published in 1983, now in its sixth edition and still used in classrooms.

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

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