E. Donnall Thomas

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E. Donnall Thomas
Thomas in 2000
Born(1920-03-15)March 15, 1920[1]
DiedOctober 20, 2012(2012-10-20) (aged 92)
Alma materUniversity of Texas at Austin
Harvard Medical School
Known forTransplantation
Scientific career
InstitutionsMary Imogene Bassett Medical Center

Edward Donnall "Don" Thomas (March 15, 1920 – October 20, 2012) was an American physician.

Thomas won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1990 with Joseph E. Murray for his help in the development of cell and organ transplantation.[1]

Life[change | change source]

He was born on March 15, 1920 in Mart, Texas. His father was a general practice doctor and often shadowed him. In 1941, Thomas earned his B.A. and studied chemistry and chemical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He also earned his M. A. from there in 1943. Thomas met his wife, Dorothy (Dottie) Martin while he was an undergraduate. He had three children with her. In 1943, he went to Harvard Medical School. Thomas worked closely with his wife after she became a lab technician during this time to support their family. He did residency at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital before he joined the US Army. "In 1955, he was appointed physician in chief at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, now Bassett Medical Center, in Cooperstown, N.Y., an affiliate of Columbia University."[2]

He studied rodents that received lethal doses of radiation who were then saved by an infusion of marrow cells at Mary Imogene Bassett. At the time, patients who underwent bone marrow transplantation had all died due to either infections or immune reactions that were not seen in the rodent studies. He began to use dogs as a model system. He moved his lab to the United States Public Health Service in Seattle in 1963. In 1990, he received the National Medal of Science. He was one of 22 Nobel Laureates that signed the Humanist Manifesto in 2003.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "E. Donnall Thomas - Facts". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  2. "E. Donnall Thomas, Who Advanced Bone Marrow Transplants, Dies at 92". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  3. "Notable Signers". Humanism and Its Aspirations. Archived from the original on 2013-10-21. Retrieved 2014-06-30.