David Rimoin

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David Lawrence Rimoin (November 9, 1936 – May 27, 2012) was a Canadian American geneticist. He was especially noted for his research into the genetics of skeletal dysplasia (dwarfism), inheritable diseases such as Tay–Sachs disease, and diabetes.[1][2]


Born in Montreal, Rimoin attended college and medical school at McGill University, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1957, followed by a medical degree and a master of science in genetics in 1961, he followed with internships and residencies at Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal and at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he studied under genetics pioneer Victor A. McKusick[3] and received a Ph.D in medical genetics. He spent three years at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri where his first daughter Anne Walsh Rimoin was born. His 1970 study of diabetes mellitus challenged the then-prevailing consensus that diabetes was a single disorder, and showed instead that it could have multiple genetic causes.[1]

In 1970 Rimoin moved to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he became chief of the division of medical genetics, he moved to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in 1986. He founded the International Skeletal Dysplasia Registry. Together with Michael Kaback, he organized a California Tay-Sachs screening program that became a national model.[1] Rimoin and English geneticist Alan E. H. Emery co-edited Principles and Practice of Medical Genetics, first published in 1983 and now considered an essential textbook on the subject.[4][5] At Cedars-Sinai he was chair of the pediatrics practice, established an adult genetics program, and began a screening program focused on genetic diseases within Los Angeles' large population of Persian Jews.[1][2]

In 1997–98, Rimoin was the first president of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics [6] After his death, the ACMG established two awards in his honor, the David L. Rimoin Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Genetics[7] and the David L. Rimoin Inspiring Excellence Award.[8]

Rimoin died in Los Angeles on May 27, 2012, days after having been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he is survived by his second wife, Ann Garber Rimoin, his two daughters Anne Rimoin and Lauren Rimoin and his son Michael Rimoin.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Thomas H. Maugh, II, "Dr. David L. Rimoin dies at 75; Cedars-Sinai geneticist", Los Angeles Times, May 30, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Dr. David Rimoin, pioneering geneticist, dies at 75", The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 29, 2012.
  3. ^ Betty M. Adelson, Dwarfism: Medical And Psychosocial Aspects Of Profound Short Stature (JHU Press, 2005), ISBN 9780801881213, pp. 51-52. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  4. ^ Luis Escobar, MD, Review of Principles and Practice of Medical Genetics, 5th ed., Shock vol. 30, no.3 (September 2008).
  5. ^ Fred D. Ledley, MD, Review of Principles and Practice of Medical Genetics, 2nd ed., N Engl J Med 1992; 326:961-962 (April 2, 1992).
  6. ^ Past Presidents, American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (accessed 2015-08-18).
  7. ^ "ACMG Foundation Announces Endowment Campaign to Establish the ACMG Foundation David L. Rimoin Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Genetics", Pediatrics Week, September 1, 2012  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  8. ^ "Marcus Miller, Ph.D., Receives ACMG Foundation/David L. Rimoin Inspiring Excellence Award", News Rx Health and Science, April 19, 2015  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).

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