A ‘superstar’ of biologic drug development

| Steve Bieler

Editor's note: In honor of Women's History Month, we're bringing you stories of the women who shaped NPF's past. 

Alice Gottlieb, M.D., Ph.D. was one of the first scientists to prove that psoriasis involved the immune system. Her research provided the foundation for biologic drug development in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

“She’s a superstar,” said Mark Lebwohl, M.D., chairman of the Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. “Many of the new drugs that have been developed would not exist were it not for her persistence in convincing the pharmaceutical industry that this was a disease worth treating.

“She really opened the field in terms of defining the work that identified the specific part of the immune system responsible for psoriasis. It came out of her lab.” 

Gottlieb developed an interest in science when she was very young. Among her inspirations was her mother, who lived with psoriasis. Decades later, when her mother developed psoriatic arthritis, Gottlieb was able to prescribe Enbrel (etanercept) for her – a medicine she helped to develop.

Gottlieb is the chair of dermatology and Dermatologist-in-Chief at Tufts Medical Center and the Harvey B. Ansell Professor of Dermatology at Tufts University School of Medicine. She has served on NPF’s Medical Board since 1990. In 2018, NPF presented her with a much-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award.

Other stories in our Women's History Month series:

Anne Bowcock, M.D.

Barbara Butler

Sheri Decker

Golda Falloon

Kathleen Gallant

Bevery Foster Halprin

A. Marilyn Sime, R.N., Ph.D.


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