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In December 1987 the Society of Cosmetics Chemists presented its highest honor—the Maison G. deNavarre Medal Award—to Albert M. Kligman, PhD, MD. The citation reads: In recognition of his more than 500 publications in the field of dermatology; his eagerness to share his scientific insights with his colleagues and associates; his untiring devotion to the training of his many students; his development of test technologies to improve the performance and safety of cosmetic products; his zeal for rationality in the scientific approach to dermatological research; his ability to devise critical experimentation to solve many problems in skin science; his understanding of the significance of beautification for the well-being of the general public; his acknowledgement that carefully formulated cosmetic are safe; and his consistent support of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists.
Kligman received his doctorate in botany in 1942, his doctorate of medicine in 1947 and completed his residency training in 1951, all at the University of Pennsylvania. He stayed at the university to attain full professorship and most recently as professor emeritus. From the beginning, he concentrated on two things—teaching and working in his laboratory. His publications now number more than 1,500 on subjects such as acne, rosacea, eczema, contact dermatitis and skin aging. Klingman has published with numerous coauthors over the years, many of whom were his students. As recently as 1999, authors referred to Kligman’s “classic paper on poison oak (1958),” a subject not so far afield from dermatology, the arena in which he is world renowned.
Kligman is among the first dermatologists to address the cosmetic industry at both national and local chapter meetings, beginning 50 years ago. He can be counted on to give an informative talk that also is entertaining. Throughout the years he has received grants from such companies as Procter & Gamble, Medicis, L’Oréal and Beiersdorf, to name a few, consulting with them on “many interesting projects” including the safety and efficacy of cosmetics. He says, “I invented the word cosmeceutical.”