Professor Roy D Altman, age 85, passed away on Wednesday November 30, 2022. For ICRS and its members, he is known as the first editor in Chief of Journal CARTILAGE. However, Roy Altman is also known as legendary person in the development of different therapies of osteoarthritis. Roy Altman received his medical education and training in internal medicine and rheumatology at the University of Miami in Florida where he also was a Professor of Medicine and Orthopedics and Chief of Rheumatology at the University of Miami as well as Chief of Rheumatology and Clinical Director of the Geriatric Center at the Miami Veterans Administration Medical Center.
Since 2003, Dr. Altman has been a member of the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology in the Department of Medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine and a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at the University of California in Los Angeles. Roy Altman as one of pioneers started up with knee arthroscopy in 1969. His research interests have been focused on animal models of osteoarthritis (OA), the role of metalloproteinases in the development of OA; and the potential using the action of structure-modifying agents for OA. Important research contribution was his work in the first clinical trial on etidronate (the first of the bisphosphonates) in Paget’s disease of bone.
As founding board member 1989 and President of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) 1994-1996 , he started the OARSI official journal, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, and after 16 years he finished his term as Editor-in-Chief 2008. The Osteoarthritis Research Society awarded him the Clinical Science Award in 2001 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in Osteoarthritis in 2007. In full activity in spite of his high age and as proof of continuous high skills, he received the UCLA Fellows teacher of the year award in 2019. Roy Altman has contributed to the increased knowledge of osteoarthritis and related diseases with several hundred published papers and books and book chapters. He has also co-edited the Journal Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism for 30 years.
I met Roy Altman for the first time when he was still in Miami. As a young doctor I had the great opportunity to meet Roy and to have lunch with him and another famous rheumatologist David Howell. The next time, I met, Roy was in 2009 when we in ICRS asked him to become editor of CARTILAGE. He had just then left Osteoarthritis and Cartilage and we were happy and proud that Roy accepted to become the journal’s chief and to help us start up with a juvenile journal.
I was then associate editor and in 2013 I took over as editor. We were then very happy that Roy accepted to stay with Cartilage as an associate editor. I was invited by Roy to stay at his house in Agua Dolce where he introduced me into the secrets of editing a journal. It was an unforgettable memory staying with Roy and his wife Linda and their dogs. I learned a lot from Roy about editing processes and since then I have had great support from Roy in the continuous journal development. Even at his high age, Roy was eager to respond and act with his most often very short but sharp comments.
A big star in the rheumatology world and osteoarthritic research and treatment has left us. However, I am sure he will twinkle as a star up there for us forever and when I am doubtful over a decision, I may notice a very short but sharp twinkling that will guide me to the decision. He will be lovingly remembered by all who had the opportunity to meet him, his family, colleagues and the patients.
Mats Brittberg, Editor-in-Chief
Roy at his office at home in Agua Dolce, August 2012 when I visited him to learn more about editing a journal.