Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dr. E. Donnall Thomas

Known in medical circles as the a man who performed the world’s first successful human bone marrow transplant , he was awarded as a winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Medicine/Physiology.

E. Donnall Thomas was born March 15, 1920 in Mart, Texas. He was named after his father Edward, a doctor who spent the first 15 years of his practice making house calls on horseback in rural Texas. Thomas earned his medical degree at Harvard University, but got his start at The University of Texas.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in 1941 an a master’s in 1943, Thomas, enrolled in the UT Medical Branch at Galveston. After six months, he transferred to Harvard Medical School where he earned an MD in 1946.

While in medicals school, Thomas decided to split his time between patient care and research. After witnessing a child’s leukemia go into remission the first time an anti-folate drug was used, Thomas began focusing his attention on leukemia.

In 1956 Thomas performed the first successful syngeneic bone marrow transplant between two humans. 

Early 1970s at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Thomas and his colleagues refined clinical allogeneic bone marrow transplantation techniques sufficiently that cures now were obtained in far-advanced leukemia and aplastic anemia patients.

He died on October 20, 2012 at age 92.
Dr. E. Donnall Thomas
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