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Bruce Rabin, M.D., Ph.D.: Immunology Expert

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For Bruce S. Rabin, M.D., Ph.D., disease prevention has always been the number one goal. ''My interest in medicine has always been to find ways to prevent the development of disease rather than to treat disease after it occurs.''

Dr. Rabin received his credentials from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he attended medical and graduate school. The school also had a good department of immunology, which was essential to what he wanted to study. Dr. Rabin's Ph.D. is in immunology, and he has focused on working in that area.

"I sought ways to keep the immune system functioning as people aged," he says of what he has researched in the past.

Dr. Rabin is now an academic healthcare professional, but his medical background has proven to be useful in the research area, especially in regards to the immune system.

"Preservation of immune system function is associated with a decreased risk of disease development and a longer length of a healthy life," he remarks. "One of the most effective ways I found to keep the function of the immune system high was to decrease the response of individuals to stress."

Dr. Rabin has dedicated a lot of his time and energy to focusing on stress because of the health risks it poses.

"Some of the health effects of stress include an elevation of hormones that decrease the function of the immune system and increase the risk of infection, increase the likelihood of becoming depressed, having high blood pressure, and having an increased risk of a heart attack," he explains.

Dr. Rabin did his residency in clinical pathology (laboratory medicine). He then took the position of Medical Director of the Division of Clinical Immunopathology at the University of Pittsburgh, where he has been working for the past 35 years. Dr. Rabin is currently a professor of pathology, psychiatry, and psychology.

Q. What do you do for fun?
A. Golf.

Q. What CD is in your CD player right now?
A. The Beatles.

Q. What is the last magazine you read?
A. Scientific American.

Q. What is your favorite TV show?
A. Iron Chef.

Q. Who is your role model?
A. My father.

Q. Your favorite ice cream flavor?
A. Chocolate.

Dr. Rabin is proud of his accomplishments so far. He is the Medical Director of the Healthy Lifestyle Program for the UPMC Health System (UPMC HLP). UPMC HLP focuses on stress and heath behaviors, along with other research, ultimately creating new approaches to disease and healthcare management.

Dr. Rabin also enjoys teaching and wants children to grow up in healthy environments. His future plans involve getting that accomplished and making sure that parents understand their role-model positions.

His greatest accomplishment? Dr. Rabin says it has been his work with others in the industry. "My most significant contribution is the approximately 50 young scientists I have trained who are now making their own contributions to medicine," he states proudly. "We have also developed stress coping programs that have a significant effect on improving the quality of mental and physical health."

As for advice to future students of the healthcare industry, Dr. Rabin gives an important warning. "Make sure that what you do is important and meaningful to you. Otherwise you will soon lose your enthusiasm for it," he says.

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 functions  medicines  State University of New York  stress  healthcare professionals  graduate schools  risks  The Beatles  Ph.D.  diseases

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