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Victor Marder, a Founder of the ISTH, Dies at 80

Tuesday, February 3, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gil White
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 Marder served as ISTH Council
Chairman from 1988-90
 Marder in his role as ISTH Congress President
in Washington, DC, 1999

Victor Marder, a founder of the ISTH, passed away quietly on January 29, 2015 from leukemic transformation of myelodysplastic syndrome. He was 80 years of age. Marder was Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and Director of the Vascular Medicine Program at Los Angeles Orthopedic Hospital/UCLA. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Diane, daughters Malerie Marder and Dr. Carrie Marder, and grandchildren, Esme and Hugo Hyatt.

Marder, a native of Baltimore, received his medical education at the prestigious Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore where he became enamored with medical research and hematology under the mentorship of one of the pioneers of hematology, C. Lockhard Conley. Following his house staff training at Hopkins and at the Rochester School of Medicine, Marder spent three highly formative years at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a Clinical Associate. Some of the most important future scientists in America served at the NIH in this era. Marder was in the laboratory of Dr. Ray Schulman. Afer a year in Paris in the Laboratory of Immunology at Hopital St. Louis, where he worked with Professor Max Seligmann, Marder returned to the US and Rochester to complete his medical house staff training followed by two additional years with Dr. Schulman at the NIH.

In 1968, he was recruited by Soloman Sherry to Temple University Health Science Center and the Thrombosis Research Center where he took his first faculty position and establishend his research laboratory, working with Sherry in the area of fibrinolysis. Over the next decade at Temple, Marder and another young hotshot named Bob Colman helped Sherry build a powerhouse program in the world of thromboembolic diseases that became one of four NIH funded Specialized Centers of Research (SCOR) in Thrombosis. Marder rose through the ranks to full Professor and Chief of the Section on Thromboembolic Diseases and he eventually became Co-Director of the SCOR.

In 1977, he was recruited back to the University of Rochester to build a thrombosis program. He was appointed Co-Chief with Marshall Lichtman of the Hematology Unit and developed young talent like Charlie Francis, Denisa Wagner, Eric Martin, Phil Fay, Beni Brenner. Leslie Sporn, Pall Onundarson, Tanya Mayadas, and Patricia Haidaris. In 1991, he was appointed Associate Chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Medicine. In 1999, with two daughters in California, he moved west to the University of California at Los Angeles and Los Angeles Orthopedic Hospital as Professor of Medicine and Director of the Vascular Medicine Program. He remained there until his death.

Over his career, Marder was one of the giants in the field of thrombosis and hemostasis. His work in the field of thrombolysis was pace-setting and was both basic biochemistry that elucidated the mechanisms of clot lysis and clinical in the development of therapeutics that were used in the treatment of heart attacks and strokes.

Marder was a founder of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis – writing the bylaws that continue to form the basis for our governance as a society – and helped drive the transformation the Scientific and Standardization Committee into the international society that is today recognized as the premier scientific organization in the field. Marder was a member of the ISTH governing Council from 1980-1988 and chaired the Council from 1988-1990. He was Chair of the Scientific Program for the Philadelphia Congress in 1975 and was President of the 17th Congress of the ISTH that was held in Washington, DC in 1999. He was also active in the American Society of Hematology, chairing the Subcommittee on Thrombosis from 1988-1989. He was on the Educational Program in 1976, 1979, 1982 and 1986 and was a member of the Publications Committee from 1985-1988.

As well known as he was internationally, Marder was a giant at his home institution. Over the last several days of his life, there was a steady stream of visitors, both faculty and trainees. It was the latter who were most impressive with their stories of how Marder helped them learn their craft and how his tenets persisted long after they had started their practice. 

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