Hans-Rudolph Wiedemann is the pediatrician that discovered Wiedemann syndrome, later called Proteus Syndrome. The congenital disorder causes the skin to continue growing, bone to continue developing and tumors to grow on more than half the body. The result is several deformation of the face, hands, feet, trunk and other parts of the body.

The most famous person to have Proteus Syndrome was the first reported case. Joseph Merrick was born in August of 1862. His is one of the most severe cases of Proteus Syndrome ever photographed. Merrick lived to be 27 years old and died of a broken neck while attempting to sleep lying down. He was forced to sleep sitting up due to the weight of his head.

Researchers in London have been working on a cure for many years to no avail. Rapamycin is a drug that can be used to treat growths associated with the disorder. While no known cause has been found, doctors believe Proteus Syndrome to be linked to genetic mosaicism.