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Physician Honored by Scleroderma Foundation

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October 10, 2006

CHICAGO --- John Varga, M.D., professor of rheumatology in the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has been honored as Doctor of the Year by the Scleroderma Foundation.

Varga, a board-certified internist and rheumatologist, is chairman of the foundation's Medical Advisory Board and a supporter of the foundation's work.

“His willingness to provide counsel, write or collaborate on articles about scleroderma and his work at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine made him an easy choice,” said Joseph D. Camerino, Ph.D., the foundation's board chair. “He is well-versed on the research presently underway in scleroderma and an eloquent advocate of the need for more research money to be raised.”

Varga has served on the National Institute of Health Study Section panels since 1998. He has published more than 180 research articles and published two books focusing on scleroderma.

Scleroderma is a chronic, often progressive, autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks its own body.

The disease, which literally means “hard skin,” can cause a thickening and tightening of the skin. In some cases it causes serious damage to internal organs including the lungs, heart, kidneys, esophagus and gastrointestinal tract.