We were saddened to end 2018 with the passing of one of the true champions of neuromuscular disease research, Dr. Stephen Katz, the long-time director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).
Dr. Katz led efforts throughout the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to implement the Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance Research and Education Amendments of 2001 (MD-CARE Act) and promote basic, translational and clinical research on these diseases. This bipartisan legislation — the first in the history of the U.S. to focus on muscular dystrophy — provides important authority and direction for muscular dystrophy research.
Dr. Katz was also former chair of the Muscular Dystrophy Coordinating Committee (MDCC), a Federal Advisory Committee to coordinate the activities across the NIH and with other federal health programs and activities relating to the various forms of muscular dystrophy.
MDA’s Scientific Director, Dr. Grace Pavlath, had the pleasure of serving on NIAMS’s National Advisory Council for 4 years and working directly with Dr. Katz. Dr. Pavlath notes, “MDA is grateful for the numerous contributions Dr. Katz has made to shaping muscle disease research efforts over several decades, and he will be greatly missed.”
MDA would like to express our deepest sympathy to Dr. Katz’s family, friends and colleagues.