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Pioneering Hematologist and Researcher Honored by UCI

The University of California, Irvine (UCI) recently renamed one of its research facilities in honor of Edward Shanbrom, an important hematologist and former professor. Building 55 on the UC Irvine Medical Center campus will be named “Edward Shanbrom M.D. Hall,” to pay tribute to Shanbrom for his years of hemophilia therapy research and his contributions to blood safety.  In 2006 Shanbrom and his wife, Helen, longtime benefactors of UCI, received the UCI Medal, the university’s highest tribute.

“The generous support of Edward and Helen Shanbrom is helping us make great strides forward in ensuring the safety of blood products and developing new and better uses for them,” said David N. Bailey, MD, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the UCI School of Medicine.

Shanbrom is recognized for making significant contributions to factor replacement therapy for hemophilia A. In the late 1960s, he joined the Hyland division of Baxter Laboratories as vice president of medical and scientific affairs. During that time, he teamed up with Kenneth M. Brinkhous, MD, a well-known coagulation researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to develop a highly concentrated form of factor VIII by pooling large quantities of plasma. This “clotting factor” came in freeze-dried powder form that could be easily stored in a portable vial, reconstituted with a diluent and self-administered through a syringe. This scientific breakthrough vastly improved the efficacy and convenience of hemophilia treatment.  It increased factor potency 100-fold.

Shanbrom is also known as a leader in the field of blood and plasma sterilization. In 1980, he received a patent for a solvent-detergent treatment process for the viral inactivation of factor concentrates. Although it was not immediately used by pharmaceutical companies, the technique soon became a standard part of the manufacturing process for many blood products.

“I have spent a lifetime researching blood’s therapeutic value and making it safe,” said Shanbrom. “Helen and I hope that our support increases the ability of UC Irvine’s faculty to isolate and purify blood and blood derivatives for increased therapeutic value, because truly lifesaving therapeutic agents come from blood.”

In addition, Shanbrom has received awards from the American Board of Internal Medicine, the National Board of Medical Examiners and the National Hemophilia Foundation.

Source: University of California, Irvine press release dated April 10, 2007


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