Clinical Center News
Fall 2019

Dr. Harvey Klein, chief of Department of Transfusion Medicine, retires

Jim Gilman, Harvey Klein and Pius Aiyelawo
Dr. Jim Gilman, Clinical Center Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Harvey G. Klein, chief of the Department of Transfusion Medicine, Pius Aiyelawo, Clinical Center Chief Operating Officer, at Klein's retirement celebration Sept. 12.
John I. Gallin shakes Dr. Harvey Klein's hand
Dr. John I. Gallin, NIH Clinical Center Chief Scientific Officer, shakes Dr. Harvey Klein's hand.

Dr. Harvey G. Klein, known throughout the world as an expert on blood transfusions, retired at the end of September after a 46-year distinguished career at NIH. Klein, who served as chief of the NIH Clinical Center Department of Transfusion Medicine, is a renowned resource regarding blood transfusions, blood storage and the impact of biotechnology on transfusion medicine.

Klein arrived at NIH in 1973 as a member of the Public Health Service Commissioned Officer Corps serving the National Heart and Lung Institute (now the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute). Just two years later he joined the Clinical Center Blood Bank, holding various leadership positions until he became its Chief in 1983. Through his stewardship, the Blood Bank evolved into the Department of Transfusion Medicine, the first of its kind in the country.

Dr. John I. Gallin, NIH Clinical Center Chief Scientific Officer, spoke at a celebration of his career.

"Harvey Klein...built a remarkable department, certainly among the very best in the world supporting outstanding patient care while enabling incredible science within the department that resulted in a Lasker Award for his close colleague Harvey Alter, as well as enabling outstanding research across NIH institutes and Centers," Gallin said. "His advice was far reaching within the Clinical Center, within NIH, within the Department of Health and Human Services, across the United States and globally. We will greatly miss him but consider ourselves very fortunate that as a Scientist Emeritus he will continue an important advisory role at the Clinical Center."

Dr. Harvey Alter, NIH Clinical Center Scientist Emeritus, added:

"I think I know most of the major players in the world of transfusion medicine. Of these, Harvey Klein is the very best. There is no one else that matches his stature as a leader and innovator, his broad knowledge base, his scientific accomplishments and his universal respect. It has been my privilege to be his professional colleague, his student and, best of all, his friend. He is one of a Kleined."

Klein has authored or co-authored more than 300 publications pertaining to blood transfusion. He is editor-in-chief emeritus of the Journal of Clinical Apheresis and has served as Associate Editor of Biologicals, and on the editorial board of Blood. He is currently an editor of Transfusion and The Journal of Translational Medicine.

Under Kleins leadership, many fellows that trained in the Department of Transfusion Medicine now hold important positions in academia, the American National Red Cross and the Food and Drug Administration.

He has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Fantus Medal from the American Association of Blood Banks for lifetime achievements. The medal has been awarded only five times in 40 years.

During the last decade, Klein has been increasingly involved in international blood policy as chair of the Blood Track of the World Health Organization Expert Committee For Biological Standardization.

He graduated from Harvard College and earned his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He did his internship and residency at The Johns Hopkins University Hospital.

Cathy Cantilena is serving as acting chief of the department.

Klein and colleagues at a Boston Marathon
Klein's contribution went beyond the hospital walls to the great outdoors – he was a co-founder of the NIH Jogging Club in 1976, now titles Health's Angels. Pictured, at the Boston Marathon in 1979, is Robert Winslow, Richard Davey, Allen Lewis, and Klein. Lewis is wearing one of the original Health's Angels running shirts.

- Molly Freimuth

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