Stephen Ira Katz, MD, PhD

1941 – December 20, 2018

After graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in history, Steve Katz completed his medical training at Tulane University. Following a dermatology residency at the University of Miami and serving in the military, he received postdoctoral training at the University of London where he earned a PhD in immunology in 1974.

That same year Dr. Katz joined the National Cancer Institute as a senior investigator in the Dermatology Branch. In 1980 he became chief of the Dermatology Branch at NIH. In 1995 Katz was selected as the director of National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a position he held until his death.

It was at the NIH that Dr. Katz and his colleagues were able to make significant advances in the immunology of skin diseases. Katz supervised and led dozens of trainees, many of whom went on to become notable leaders in dermatology around the world. His own research included discovering an antigen associated with pemphigus. By virtue of his own and his colleagues research Dr. Katz multiplied his influence in dermatologic research in the United States and the rest of the world.

Dr. Katz was a president of the Society of Investigative Dermatology, The International League of Dermatological Societies, and the International Committee of Dermatology. He held honorary degrees from several foreign universities. The Dermatology Foundation gave Katz its Lifetime Career Educator Award in 2014. Stephen Katz’s influence was immense. He died of a stroke at the age of seventy-seven