Dr. Mart Mannik, professor emeritus and head of the Division of Rheumatology from 1967 to 2001, passed away on Wednesday, August 22 at the age of 86.

Mannik received his medical degree from Western Reserve University School of Medicine. His post-graduate training included residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital, a guest investigator position in the laboratory of Henry Kunkel at Rockefeller University, and a clinical associate position at the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases.

Dr. Mart Mannik

Mannik had a long, illustrious career at UW Medicine. Under his leadership, the number of faculty increased by ten, and his faculty led research initiatives in gout, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and other associated diseases.

As the program director and PI for the training grant in rheumatology, Mannik supervised or personally trained over 100 rheumatologists, several of whom went on to become leaders in the field.

In addition, through leadership roles at UW, Western Society for Clinical Investigation, Northwest Rheumatism Association, and the local Arthritis Foundation, Mannik helped to transform this region of the country from low awareness and skills in rheumatic disorders to a stronghold of high-quality clinical care and outstanding basic rheumatologic investigation.

Mannik’s outstanding scientific achievements focused on the role of immune complexes in rheumatic diseases, particularly Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). His observations regarding rheumatoid factors – in particular, self-associating IgG rheumatoid factor as a major source of immune complexes in the rheumatoid joint – remain original and unchallenged.

“Mart’s leadership role in clinical care, teaching and research endeavors put the University of Washington on the national stage in rheumatology,” said Division Head Keith Elkon. “As emeritus professor, he remained keenly involved and committed to the division. He will be deeply missed.”