American Society of Hematology

Helen M. Ranney (1920 - 2010)

Dr. Helen Ranney was among the most distinguished physician-scientists in academic medicine. She was the first female chairperson of a department of medicine in the United States and the first female president of both the Association of American Physicians and the American Society of Hematology. She was also a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Ranney was born and raised on a dairy farm in New York and, in her view, benefited greatly by early education in a one-room schoolhouse. Her upbringing imbued her with a strong sense of responsibility and the importance of working with her own two hands, qualities which were key determinants of her later success in research.

To fully appreciate Dr. Ranney's career, one must not only focus on her impressive accomplishments but also look at the obstacles she overcame. After graduating from Barnard College, the women's affiliate of Columbia University, Dr. Ranney hoped to enter Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) but found that gender bias made access difficult. Read more

Profile in The Hematologist

Dr. Ranney was profiled in the March/April 2008 issue of The Hematologist, "Helen Margaret Ranney: A Woman of Many Firsts."


An obituary on Dr. Ranney was published in The New York Times on April 14, 2010.

Authored Blood Articles

Dr. Ranney has published several articles in the Society's journal Blood.

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