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Pioneering Bleeding Disorders Researcher Dies at 87

Irving Schulman, MD, chair emeritus of pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine, died on June 11, 2009, of complications of pneumonia at his home on the school’s campus. He was 87 years old.

Schulman was born in 1922 in NYC, and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1942 and MD in 1945 from the New York University. He did his internship at Queens Hospital and residency in pediatrics at Bellevue Hospital. In 1950 he married Naomi Zion, a lab technician at Bellevue.

While serving as a faculty member at Cornell University Medical Center in New York and the Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, Schulman became an expert in pediatric blood diseases. He pioneered studies on idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, a bleeding disorder caused by low platelet counts. He was one of the first to describe hemophilia B, or factor IX deficiency, in children. Schulman was also one the first doctors to recommend steroid treatment for acute leukemia in children.

From 1961 to 1972, Schulman served as professor and head of the pediatrics department at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. In 1972 he joined the team at Stanford. In the mid-1970s, he chaired the committee that designed the first licensing examination for pediatric hematologist-oncologists. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, which opened in 1991. Schulman served as its first chief of staff.

In 1961 Schulman received the E. Mead Johnson Award for his research in pediatrics. Seven years later Georgetown University presented him with the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to Children.

Schulman is survived by his wife and two children. A celebration of his life will be held on August 7, 2009, at noon at the Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center in Stanford.



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