The Dr. John G. Gorman Lectureship in Transfusion Medicine
The Dr. John G. Gorman Lectureship in Transfusion Medicine, founded in 2016, is a proud reminder of one of the many pioneering medical achievements originating at the Columbia University, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Throughout his career, John G. Gorman, M.D., a former Professor of Pathology at Columbia, pursued multiple and varied interests. For example, in addition to serving as Professor and Director of Columbia’s Blood Bank, he subsequently served as become Professor of Pathology and Director of the Blood Bank at New York University. His accomplishments included postulating a new type immunocyte that would down-regulate the immune response; this type of cell, a regulatory T cell (i.e., a Treg) was, indeed, recently identified. As another example, he built and tested the first system to detect blood coagulation in an automated fashion and co-founded the Medical Laboratory Automation (MLA) company to create the first instrument to automate Prothrombin Time testing. In addition, he co-founded Hospital Data Sciences, Inc. to develop the first software program for use in hospital blood banks. However, perhaps Dr. Gorman’s most important contribution to improving human health was his pioneering research in the 1960s, which resulted in the development of Rh Immune Globulin (RhoGAM) for preventing hemolytic disease of the newborn. This discovery, made with his colleagues, Drs. Vincent Freda (at Columbia) and William Pollack (at Ortho Diagnostics), has saved the lives of countless mothers and newborns in the years since. In 1980, Drs. Gorman, Freda, and Pollack, along with the members of a British group (Drs. Cyril Clarke and Ronald Finn), received the Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award in 1980 for their contributions to inventing this trailblazing therapeutic. This endowed lectureship program at Columbia University, which celebrates Dr. John Gorman’s leadership and contributions to the development of RhoGAM, is made possible by a generous gift from Kedrion Biopharma.