Driven by the thrill of scientific research, Dr. Maria Greenwald became a doctor because medicine offered a way to apply cutting-edge ideas to helping people. After 26 years specializing in rheumatology and osteoporosis, the bounty of new treatments — especially in rheumatology — offers continual challenges and hopeful solutions.
"The rheumatology research community has developed six exciting biologic proteins that naturally occur in the body that you use to treat rheumatoid arthritis," she says. "It is a wonderful time to work in rheumatology. I have one patient who couldn’t dress herself. Now she bowls!"
Greenwald’s credentials include a medical degree with honors from Yale, an internship and residency at Yale–New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, a fellowship in rheumatology as senior national scholar at UCLA Medical
Center, and appointment to 14 medical boards. She belongs to seven medical organizations: Annenberg Center for Health Sciences, American College of Rheumatology, American Medical Association, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, Associates of Clinical Pharmacology, OsNet (a nonprofit osteoporosis research net-work), and the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Additionally, she is a founder of OsNet, which comprises 22 research centers de-veloping clinical programs nationwide; Osteoporosis Medical Center; International Society of Clinical Densitometry; and the Desert Foundation of Academics, in which students raise money for the Palm Springs Unified School District. She serves on the advisory boards of Annenberg Health Sciences Center, Merck, Procter and Gamble, Genentech, OsNet, and the Desert Foundation of Academics.
Greenwald has received the Senior Rheumatology Scholar Award from the American Rheumatism Association, bestowed on her as one of the top 10 researchers in the country; the Research Grant for Interleukin-1 Research; two abstract awards from the Southern California Rheumatism Society; a fellowship from the American Rheumatism Society, the Schwartz Award from the American College of Legal Medicine; a Yale International Research Fellowship; and a National Science Foundation grant. She has contributed 36 articles to medical journals and is clinical research director for more than 50 programs.
Her upcoming projects include speaking at the annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Amsterdam in August and the American College of Rheumatology’s Meet the Professor program about osteoporosis in Washington, D.C., in November. Additionally, she co-chairs a national program providing an update on osteoporosis for the Annenberg Center at Eisenhower Medical Center.
In her leisure time, Greenwald and her husband Gary, a doctor specializing in lung disease, spend time with their children at track meets, on the soccer field, and visiting new places.
— Nicole Borgenicht