The John Vaughan Scholar Award
Until his death in 2006 at the age of 85, Dr. John Vaughan was a seminal figure in the complex field of allergies and autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Vaughan’s research showed how abnormalities in the human immune system can cause arthritis and allergies by activating inflammatory pathways that normally fight infections. From his early years, he continued to carve an impressive and forward-thinking path for the world to follow.
To honor Dr. Vaughan’s contribution to arthritis and research specifically in rheumatoid arthritis, the Arthritis National Research Foundation awards a grant in his name. Each year, one ANRF grant recipient carrying on Dr. Vaughan’s work is designated that year’s John Vaughan Scholar. This honor is recognition of the young investigator’s exemplary career path and importance of their scientific project. has named a grant
Dr. Vaughan’s standout career began after first serving as a medical officer in Anchorage, Alaska. After his honorable discharge, Dr. Vaughan joined the faculty of the Medical College of Virginia in 1953. While there as an assistant professor of medicine, he conducted research that led to a career-long interest in rheumatoid arthritis.
From there, he served in 1966-67 as president of the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology and, in 1970-71, as president of what is now the American College of Rheumatology. He joined Scripps Clinic in 1970, and rose four years later to Chairman of the Department of Rheumatology.
From 1977 to 1986, when he headed the Division of Clinical Immunology at Scripps Clinic, Dr. Vaughan continued to focus on rheumatoid arthritis and the possible role of viral infections in rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. In 1990, he joined the UCSD faculty as a professor of medicine in residence, a post he held until his retirement in 1997. During this time, Dr. Vaughan’s laboratory received several grants from the Arthritis National Research Foundation.
In 1998, Dr. Vaughan was instrumental in helping the Arthritis National Research Foundation develop a Scientific Advisory Board of world-renowned physicians and researchers.
While his professional stature was well known among colleagues, his friends, family and community members knew him best as a champion of youth scholarships and teacher exchange programs between our country and third world countries. “He was one of the foremost rheumatologists in the country but very humble about it,” said Richard Woltman, a past president of the Rotary Club of La Jolla.