American Society of Hematology

Alvin Mauer, MD (1928-2011)

Published on: July 01, 2011

Alvin Mauer, MD, former president of the American Society of Hematology, died May 26, 2010, at the age of 82. Work by this distinguished physician, researcher, and mentor advanced the fields of hematology and oncology. Dr. Mauer encouraged collaboration of basic and clinical scientists at a time when bench-to-bedside approaches were in their infancy. His leadership enabled strong progress at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the University of Tennessee — organizations he served with great passion and commitment.

Dr. Mauer was born in Le Mars, IA, in 1928. After service with the U.S. Army, he graduated from the University of Iowa College of Medicine and finished his medical education at Cincinnati General Hospital and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. He then completed a three-year pediatric hematology fellowship at the University of Utah and later returned to Ohio to serve as director of hematology/oncology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

In 1973, Dr. Mauer moved to Memphis, TN, to become the second director and CEO of St. Jude, an institution renowned for its work in childhood cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

Under Dr. Mauer’s leadership, St. Jude doubled in size. He is credited with ensuring that the relationships between clinicians and basic scientists thrived as the hospital grew. During his tenure, Dr. Mauer also established the hospital’s Domestic Affiliate Program, which created St. Jude clinics in other cities, enabling some children to receive their protocol treatments closer to home.

Beginning in 1983, he served as chief of the division of hematology/oncology and later as professor emeritus of the department of medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

A member of numerous scientific societies, Dr. Mauer was elected president of the Association of American Cancer Institutes and the International Society of Hematology. He also served two terms as president of ASH; he was the only member to have this honor. Among his many honors, Dr. Mauer was recognized with the prestigious St. Boniface General Hospital Research Foundation Award, which was established to honor individuals who through their genius, talent, and energy have made outstanding contributions to health care and/or humanity.

He is survived by his wife, Theresa; two daughters, Elizabeth Mauer Sweeney and Daria; and two sons, Timothy and Stephen.

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