Burton Zweiman

Dr. Burton Zweiman, professor emeritus of medicine and neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine, passed away December 24 at age 82.

Born in New York City, Dr. Zweiman received his undergraduate degree in chemistry in 1952 and his medical degree in 1956 from Penn. After completing a residency in internal medicine at Bellevue Hospital Center, he became a fellow in immunology at NYU Medical Center. He completed his training in allergy and immunology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

After briefly serving in the Navy, he was appointed to the faculty in 1968 in Penn’s School of Medicine. He became a full professor in 1975. Dr. Zweiman chaired the division of allergy and immunology from 1974 until he became emeritus in 1998.

As a young faculty member, Dr. Zweiman expanded the traditional role of the allergist by taking on the challenge of patients who presented with all manner of immune-mediated diseases. He pioneered the field that would one day be known as clinical immunology. In addition to maintaining a busy practice of patients at Penn, he helped establish the hospital’s renal transplant program. He developed the hospital’s first clinical immunology service laboratory. In addition, he forged strong links between the teaching, patient care and research missions of the departments of medicine, neurology, pathology and laboratory medicine.

Widely regarded for his many accomplishments, Dr. Zweiman was editor of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, chair of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology and president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). His service was recognized by his receipt of the Distinguished Service Award and the establishment of the Burton Zweiman Lectureship by the AAAAI. In addition, Dr. Zweiman was a 1967 recipient of the University’s Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Dr. Zweiman is survived by his wife, Claire; daughters, Amy Harwood and Diane Weidenbaum; grandchildren, Daniel, Alexander, Reese and Sage; and sister, Deborah Gordon.

Contributions may be made to The Burton Zweiman Lectureship c/o The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100, Milwaukee, WI 53202-3823.