February 6, 2001
Sandra Rahn Benz
Executive Director

Dermatology Foundation


Ernst H. Beutner, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Microbiology and Dermatology at SUNY Buffalo, and Robert E. Jordon, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, have been chosen as co-recipients of the Dermatology Foundation’s 2000 Discovery Award.

The Discovery Award was created by the Foundation’s Trustees in 1991 as the specialty’s highest tribute to those colleagues who embody the essence of scientific and intellectual curiosity the Foundation strives to nurture through its Research Awards Program.

Drs. Beutner and Jordon are being honored for their seminal recognition of the role of autoantibodies in the pathogenesis of pemphigus vulgaris (PV). Together, they found that PV autoantibodies bind to surface of keratinocytes in precisely the same suprabasilar location that PV bullae form, suggesting a direct pathogenic role for antibodies.

"The work of Drs. Beutner and Jordon essentially began the modern era of Dermato-Immunology," said Dermatology Foundation President Jouni J. Uitto, M.D., Ph.D. "The clarity of the relationship between bullous disease manifestations and laboratory findings, first established by this year’s Discovery Award recipients, has not only permitted important aspects of pemphigus pathogenesis to be deciphered but has helped frame the next set of research challenges."

Both Awardees Prolific Authors, Researchers

Dr. Beutner received his Ph.D. in 1951 from the University of Pennsylvania and joined the faculty of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at SUNY--Buffalo in 1956. He taught microbiology to students of medicine and dentistry until his retirement in 1994. In 1992, Dr. Beutner became Director of Beutner Laboratories in Buffalo, where he continues to conduct further research on the immunopathology of bullous and connective tissue diseases.

Dr. Beutner was honored as the "Founding Father of immunopathology of the skin" by the European Academy of Dermatology and Venerealogy (The Vincenzo Chiarugi Award) in 1989 and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Trondheim, Norway in 1993 for that same distinction. In 1999, he and Dr. Jordon were joint recipients of the Inflammatory Skin Disorder Research Award from the American Skin Association at the Society for Investigative Dermatology annual meeting.

Dr. Beutner is a member of the editorial boards of The International Journal of Dermatology and Autoimmunity and a co-author of a number of articles published in medical journals that have been selected as "Citation Classics" because of the frequency with which they are cited in literature.

Dr. Jordon received his M.D. degree in 1965 from the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at SUNY-- Buffalo, where he held summer research fellowships in immunology from 1961 through 1964. He completed his residency and fellowship in Dermatology at the Mayo Clinic in 1969 and received a National Institutes of Health dermatology training grant in 1968-69.

Dr. Jordon joined the faculty of the Mayo School of Medicine in 1971 and left in 1977 to assume the post of Chairman of the Division of Dermatology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. In 1983, he was appointed Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, where he serves as a Professor in both the Dermatology and Internal Medicine departments.

A former Director of the Association of Professors of Dermatology and the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr. Jordon served as Vice President of the Society for Investigative Dermatology in 1993-94. He currently chairs the American Academy of Dermatology’s Manpower Committee and serves as a member on the AAD Ethics Committee and Dermatologic Practice Council. He also is a member of the Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. Jordon serves on the editorial boards of The Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Immunology and Clinical Aspects of Autoimmunity and has served on the editorial boards of The Archives of Dermatology and The Journal of Investigative Dermatology. He is also editor of Immunologic Diseases of the Skin and The Atlas of Bullous Disease.

He chaired the Dermatology Foundation’s Medical and Scientific Committee in 1980-81 and served as a Trustee of the Foundation from 1993 to 1998.

Drs. Beutner and Jordon will receive their Discovery Awards at the Annual Meeting of the Foundation in Washington, DC, on Saturday, March 3, at 5 pm in the grand Ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel.

The Dermatology Foundation was created in 1964 by a group of concerned dermatologists in order to advance patient care through research. The nonprofit organization raises funds from members of the specialty and the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry to support a broad-based program of research investigations, clinical and scientific publications and Continuing Medical Education programs for today’s dermatologists.

The Foundation is second only to the federal government as a source of funding for dermatologic research that addresses both medical and surgical practice concerns.

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