Prof. Ronald Asherson University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa2 Talks
Professor Asherson was an internationally renowned authority on the antiphospholipid syndrome and its many manifestations. He first defined the "primary" antiphospholipid syndrome in 1988 and, in 1992, the catastrophic variant of the syndrome (CAPS) which now has the eponym " Asherson’s Syndrome" attached. He also helped to establish the role... read moreof antiphospholipid antibodies in infections and malignancies. With colleagues, he unravelled the pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of CAPS. He was born in Cape Town and qualified in Medicine from the University of Cape Town in 1957. Following this he continued his medical training working in hospitals in London, New York and Cape Town before being appointed as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the New York Hospital–Cornell Medical Center under Professor Henry O Heineman. From 1981 to 1985, he was associated with the Rheumatology Department at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School of London (Hammersmith Hospital), working under Dr Graham RV Hughes. It was at that time that he developed his interest in systemic autoimmune diseases and antiphospholipid antibodies. In 1992, he returned to South Africa, and joined the Rheumatic Disease Unit, Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, and later became an Associate Professor at the Division of Immunology, School of Pathology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He was also a Visiting Professor at the Department of Autoimmune Diseases, Hospital Cli¬nic, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
Ronald Asherson published over 500 scientific articles and contributed chapters to more than 100 leading textbooks on Rheumatology and Internal Medicine, he was also the editor of several books. In 1988 he was elected a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, he was also a Founding Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology. From 1988 to 1991, he was on the Council of the Royal Society of Medicine in London. In 1992, he was the co-winner of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Prize and in 1993 was part of Graham Hughes' team awarded the International League Against Rheumatism (ILAR) Prize, both for research on antiphospholipid antibodies. In 1994, he was elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP) of London. In 2001, he was awarded Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Pleven in Bulgaria. Ronald Asherson died in May 2008, he will be remembered for his many valuable contributions to the field of autoimmune diseases.