Meet Our Honoree
Medical Award of Excellence
It is the great pleasure of the Northern California, Arthritis Foundation to honor Dr. John Imboden as the 2019 recipient of the Medical Award of Excellence. This award is given in recognition of the incalculable impact Dr. Imboden has made in the fight against Arthritis and Autoimmune Diseases and in the lives of so many patients who suffer from these diseases. For close to four decades, Dr. Imboden has epitomized the very definition of a “triple threat” academic physician, making a lasting impact in areas of scholarship and research, education, and patient care.
As a scholar, Dr. Imboden has spent a significant portion of his career studying how T-cells are activated, research that has led to a better understanding of normal and abnormal immune responses and ultimately to medications used to treat many autoimmune and arthritic diseases. He has also founded one of the largest clinical research cohorts of patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis in the US and published more than one hundred articles, authored numerous book chapters, and edited many medical and immunology journals and textbooks, including one of the prominent and commonly used textbooks of rheumatology.
As an educator, Dr. Imboden has left an equally profound legacy, training an entire generation of rheumatologists, including many (if not a majority) of rheumatologists who practice throughout the Bay Area. Many of his former trainees have become national and international leaders in rheumatology, immunology, academia, and industry. His teaching has been recognized on the UCSF inpatient medicine service at Zuckerberg San Francisco General, where he has inspired a generation of medical students and housestaff to become outstanding physicians and where he has won numerous teaching and subspecialist awards from both the UCSF department of medicine and division of rheumatology.
Finally, as a clinician Dr. Imboden stands in a league of his own. He has been recognized as one of only a handful of UCSF Master Clinicians and as quoted by one colleague “has one the sharpest minds [ever] seen.” Colleagues throughout the Bay area and beyond, including many former trainees, still seek his advice on their most challenging cases and implicitly trust his clinical judgment. He is not only a rigorously mechanistic thinker but is equally rigorous in his dedication to his patients and to delivering outstanding care to our city’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable patients.
For all of these reasons and in particular for his uncompromising approach to caring for our city’s most vulnerable patients, that the Arthritis Foundation of Northern California is pleased to honor Dr. Imboden with its 2019 Medical Award of Excellence.
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