Grant County Native Named Distinguished Alumnus

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Larry W. Moreland, M.D., a national leader in rheumatology, has been named the West Virginia University School of Medicine’s 2005 Distinguished Alumnus. He will be honored during the School of Medicine’s Alumni Weekend events, Sept. 29-Oct. 2.

Moreland, the Anna Lois Waters Professor of Medicine in the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), is internationally recognized for his clinical research initiatives in rheumatoid arthritis, especially with biological therapies.  He is co-editor of Arthritis and Allied Conditions:  A Textbook of Rheumatology, now in its fifteenth edition.  This two-volume reference has been established as the “Bible of Rheumatology.”

Moreland went to UAB in 1987 as a fellow in the Immunology and Rheumatology after completing an internal medicine residency at WVU. He is currently the dean for clinical research at UAB, director of the Arthritis Clinical Intervention Program and director of the General Clinical Research Center. 

 Moreland’s primary research interest has been evaluation of targeted therapies with immune modulating agents as therapies for autoimmune diseases. The first biologic agent approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating rheumatoid arthritis was first tested in patients by Moreland at UAB. 

Moreland is currently the principal investigator of a large multi-center trial that will help define appropriate therapies for patients with early rheumatoid arthritis.  He is funded by the National Institutes of Health for several studies evaluating new therapies (and their mechanisms) for several disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and vasculitis.

Described by a UAB colleague as “a masterful physician and investigator,” Dr. Moreland has held positions of responsibility in national and international scholarly groups, including the American Society for Clinical Investigation. In 2004, the Arthritis Foundation picked ten top advances in arthritis.  The number-one innovation included novel therapeutics for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, with Moreland as a chief contributor to these studies. Additionally, he received the Max Cooper Award for Research Excellence in 2000, and is an associate editor for Arthritis & Rheumatism and serves on several editorial boards.

A native of Mount Storm, Moreland received his undergraduate degree from West Liberty State College in 1979 and his medical degree from West Virginia University in 1983.  He and his wife, Susan, have three children – Melissa, Amanda and Megan.

- WVU -

For more information:
Bill Case, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087

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