American Society of Hematology

William Dameshek (1900 - 1969)

William Dameshek

William Dameshek (1900 - 1969) was the preeminent American clinical hematologist of his time. A polymath, his interests ranged from diseases of the blood to pre-Columbian statuettes. He was a lead investigator in the first-known multi-institutional trial of chemotherapy (nitrogen mustard for Hodgkin lymphoma). Dr. Dameshek pioneered in the treatment of immune thrombocytopenia with corticosteroids, introduced antimetabolite therapy for autoimmune diseases, developed the concepts of the myeloproliferative and lymphoproliferative disorders, and proposed that CLL is the result of a gradual accumulation of lymphocytes. He was the founder of Blood, an architect of the American Society of Hematology, and an organizer of the International Society of Hematology (ISH).

Dr. Dameshek was named Ze'ev at his birth in Voronezh, Russia, and, at the age of three, was brought to the United States by his parents, who settled in Medford, MA, and renamed him William. An exceptional student at Boston's English High School (the oldest public high school in America), he went to Harvard College, and in 1923 he graduated from Harvard Medical School and married Rose (Ruddy) Thurman. Read more

Profile in The Hematologist

Dr. Dameshek was profiled in the July/August 2008 issue of The Hematologist, "William Dameshek: Compassionate Clinician and Gifted Teacher."

Authored Blood Articles

Dr. Dameshek was one of the founders of the Society's journal Blood, and he published numerous articles in it.


An obituary on Dr. Dameshek was published in Blood in 1970.

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