CHICAGO, IL, January 06, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Dr. Michael Becker has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Dr. Becker is a Professor Emeritus at The University of Chicago who, in a career in Rheumatology spanning more than 4 decades, has achieved recognition as a basic science and clinical investigator as well as a clinician and educator in the fields of purine metabolism and genetics and in the pathophysiology and management of the most common purine disorder, gout.
Dr. Becker received B.A. (1961) and M.D. (1965) degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA) and completed an Internship in Internal Medicine (1966) at Barnes Hospital, Washington University Medical Center (St. Louis, MO). After completing a 3 year Research Associateship in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (1966-1969) at NIH (Bethesda, MD), he returned to St. Louis to complete Internal Medicine Residency requirements in 1969. Dr. Becker then served as a Rheumatology Fellow at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD; 1970-1972), prior to appointment as Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCSD (1972-1977). During this time he was certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in both Internal Medicine (1972) and Rheumatology (1974), and, in 1977, was elected to membership in the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), and promoted to Associate Professor of Medicine (With Tenure). During his term as Associate Professor at UCSD (1977-1980), Dr. Becker was Head of the Rheumatology Section at the San Diego VA Hospital and was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, which he completed in the Laboratory of Cellular Growth Regulation at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, London, UK (1979-1980).
From 1980 to 2006, Dr. Becker was Professor of Medicine in the Rheumatology Section of the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He served as Section Head and member of the Department Executive Committee (1981-2001) in addition to his investigative, patient care, and teaching roles prior to his appointment as Professor Emeritus (2006-present). His role as clinician included: Internal Medicine Inpatient Attending; Rheumatology Outpatient Clinic (equivalent to 2 days weekly), with teaching directed to Medical Students, Internal Medicine Residents, and Rheumatology Fellows. Recognition of progress in his laboratory and clinical studies of the contributions of genetically/biochemically-based and lifestyle/environmental factors to the development of hyperuricemia and the progression of gout were marked by success in funding and retaining support, including: sustained NIH RO1 grant funding from 1974 to 2003; a Veterans Administration Clinical Investigator Award (1974-1977); and funding from the Arthritis Foundation and the American College of Rheumatology. In addition, appointment to governmental research proposal review panels (eg, the NIH Medical Biochemistry Study Section and comparable professional society grant proposal review groups); and appointment to editorial boards (eg, Arthritis and Rheumatology, Associate Editor, 1981-1985). In 1987-1988, Dr. Becker completed a sabbatical leave as Research Professor of Medicine at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor.
By the early 2000s, the impressive advances in the study of gout epidemiology, pathogenesis, and pathophysiology accomplished in the prior 2 decades in disease had established gout as a more serious disorder than previously appreciated: one characterized by increasing worldwide prevalence and frequent poor gout patient outcomes, as well as a remarkable frequency of metabolic co-morbidities (diabetes mellitus, obesity, dyslipidemia) as well as hypertension, cardiovascular, and renal disease). In addition, anti-inflammatory options for remission of acute arthritic flares, though numerous and temporarily efficacious, we're not disease-modifying in the long term and available disease-modifying agents were sparse and often not dispensed or taken appropriately. These findings called for greater attention directed to gout diagnosis and management in the form of patient and medical provider education, sophisticated identification of outcome measurements, and the development of new therapeutic agents that are truly disease-modifying and have been evaluated with appropriate RCT-confirmed outcome measurements of efficacy and safety.
Dr. Becker has strongly supported this call to action. In 2006, Dr. Becker chose to re-orient his activities at the University to permit expansion of the Gout Clinic he had initiated earlier, for patients both within University of Chicago Medicine facilities and in consultation with practitioners. He envisioned the expanded Clinic as the locus for interactions with patients and medical personnel interested in inquiring about gout patients they attended. A second initiative intended to provide a broadened base for collaborative clinical/epidemiological or therapeutics studies was the intent to participate in clinical trials meeting standards of the Rheumatology Section and Medical Center Human Subjects Committee and to communicate with Pharmaceutical and Biological Companies to encourage this effort, Dr. Becker initiated the Gout Clinic with some promising outcomes, particularly in establishing a gout patient data base, more frequent outside referrals from within the Chicago region as well as more contact within the University Medical Center. Finally, Dr. Becker chose to continue these activities, as well as his extensive authorship and update of topics in the annually peer-reviewed section on the Crystal Deposition Diseases in the UpToDate Medicine Encyclopedia.
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