Professor in Residence at University of California, San Francisco
Dr Paul Harmatz is a gastroenterologist who specializes in mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) and other lysosomal storage diseases (genetic disorders in which a lack of certain enzymes results in progressive damage to cells and organ systems). He leads a team of specialists who diagnose and care for patients with these rare diseases, offering therapies such as weekly enzyme infusion.
Harmatz's research focuses in particular on promising new treatments for MPS disease. He has led clinical trials to evaluate treatments for a variety of MPS and other lysosomal storage diseases, resulting in approval from the Food and Drug Administration for five specific treatments. He also led the first trial on a drug to treat mucopolysaccharidosis type VI (also called Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome or MPS VI). In addition, he led a trial in which genome editing was done inside a human body for the first time in an effort to change the DNA of a patient with mucopolysaccharidosis type II (also known as Hunter syndrome or MPS II).
Harmatz earned his medical degree from Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine. He completed a residency in pediatrics at Harbor – UCLA Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition at Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior to joining UCSF, he served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School for 12 years.
Harmatz is a member of the Society for the Study of Inborn Errors of Metabolism, Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders and American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy. In 2017, UCSF awarded him a medical science career achievement award.