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Mart Mannik, MD

Mart Mannik, M.D., Professor Emeritus and head of the Division of rheumatology from 1967 to 2001, passed away on Wednesday August 22 at the age of 86.

Dr. Mannik was born in Estonia and came to the United States as a refugee from World War II. He received his M.D. from Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, OH. His post-graduate training included residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, a guest investigator position in the laboratory of Henry Kunkel  at the Rockefeller University in New York and a clinical associate position at the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases, Rheumatology, Bethesda. 

Dr. Mannik had a long, illustrious career at UW Medicine. Under his leadership, the number of faculty increased from two to 12 and UW faculty led research initiatives in gout, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and other associated diseases. He played a commanding role in shaping rheumatology in the Northwest USA. As the program director and P.I. for a NIH supported research training grant in rheumatology, Dr. Mannik supervised or personally trained over 100 rheumatologists, several of whom subsequently became leaders in the field. In addition, through his leadership roles at the University of Washington, the Western Society for Clinical Investigation, the Northwest Rheumatism Association as well as activities in the local Arthritis Foundation, Dr. 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.

Dr. Mannik’s scientific achievements were outstanding. His research career was intensively 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 completely original and unchallenged. Mart Mannik’s leadership role in clinical care, teaching and research endeavors put the University of Washington on the national stage in rheumatology. As Emeritus Professor, he remained keenly involved and committed to the Division. He will be deeply missed by the staff and his trainees.

Dr. Mannik is survived by his wife Zita, his brothers, children and grandchildren. An obituary prepared by the family can be found in the Seattle Times.  
In lieu of sending flowers the family requests that donations be made in his name to the University of Washington Division of Rheumatology

Keith Elkon, MD
Head, Division of Rheumatology