Stanley Schrier

Publication Details

  • Pathophysiology of the thalassemias the Albion Walter Hewlett Award presentation WESTERN JOURNAL OF MEDICINE Schrier, S. L. 1997; 167 (2): 82-89


    The Albion Walter Hewlett Award (named for Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Stanford Department of Medicine 1916-1925) recognizes a role model, accomplished in discovery of the biological sciences and at the same time a consummate and compassionate physician. In introductory remarks, Dr. Stanley L. Schrier, Professor of Medicine (Hematology), the tenth recipient of the Award, indicated that the person so identified is no longer a viable model in academic medicine. The loss of this sort of person is serious because this appropriately trained physician-investigator was uniquely positioned to study pathophysiology, defined as the processes by which disordered biology produces disease. He used his own studies on the clinical manifestations of the thalassemias to clarify what he meant by pathophysiology. Thus he and his colleagues first defined membrane material properties of alpha and beta thalassemic RBC membranes and the states of hydration of alpha and beta thalassemic RBC and found them to be strikingly divergent. The biochemical counterparts of these alterations proved to be the accumulation of the excess unmatched partially oxidized globin chains on the membrane skeleton. In vitro studies with chemical oxidants selectively oxidized alpha and beta globin chains which then attached to the RBC membrane skeleton and reproduced the membrane material properties characteristic of beta and alpha thalassemia respectively. Many of these alterations had occurred prior to the reticulocyte stage so that pursuit of pathophysiology shifted to studies of marrow erythroid precursors, and it was shown that in beta thalassemia major there was accelerated programmed cell death as well as defective assembly of the membrane skeleton.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997XU74200003

    View details for PubMedID 9291745

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