The Division of Hematology and Thromboembolism has an active research programme and is well-recognized for its research in thrombosis and hemostasis, platelet physiology and function, blood transfusion therapy, the molecular biology of red cell disorders and trials in malignant hematologic diseases. Members of our Division hold Endowed Chairs and Professorships, as well as Canada Research Chairs. Funding for our research comes from a variety of sources, including CIHR, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and Canadian Blood Services. On average, division members are responsible for over 100 manuscripts per year; many of which are in leading academic journals like the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Circulation, and Blood.

The Department of Medicine houses two research organizations devoted to hematology-based research.  The Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis Research Institute (TaARI, directed by Dr. Jeffrey Weitz) describes its mission as “to reduce death and disability from thrombotic diseases by conducting research into the pathogenesis, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of thrombosis and vascular disease”. The McMaster Centre for Transfusion Research (directed by Dr. Donald Arnold) is “dedicated to the advancement of evidence-based diagnostic, clinical, and therapeutic practices in transfusion medicine through research, innovation, and training”. Some division members have affiliations with the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI). Much of the Division’s thrombosis research is conducted through the Canadian Venous Thromboembolism Research Network (CanVECTOR), a national patient-oriented, program centred on venous thromboembolism-related research, training, and knowledge translation.

A McMaster Division of Hematology & Thromboembolism AFP Student Research Project Competition is held annually. Three awards were provided in 2019:

  • 1st prize ($10,000): Dr. Madeleine Verhovsek (faculty), Dr. Derek Chan (trainee) for “Evaluating health resource utilization patterns in sickle cell disease in emergency departments in Ontario, Canada”
  • 2nd prize ($5,000): Dr. Donald Arnold (faculty), Dr. Amaris Balitsky (trainee) for “Defining clinically significant bleeding as an outcome in blood transfusion trials”
  • 3rd prize ($2,500): Dr. Mickey Zeller (faculty), Dr. Siraj Mithoowani (trainee) for “Anything but cookbook medicine – applying variation theory to understand the influence of thrombosis clinical practice variability on resident learning”


Major Awards

  • Dr. Jeffrey Weitz: American Society of Hematology (ASH) Ernest Beutler Lecture and Prize (2019)
  • Dr. Graham Turpie: inaugural TaARI Distinguished Career Award (2019)
  • Dr. James Douketis: American College of Physicians Laureate Award (2020)


Key Grants

  • Dr. Donald Arnold: A randomized open-label trial of convalescent plasma for hospitalized adults with acute COVID-19 respiratory illness (CONCOR-1) (CIHR, $2,972,00, 2020)
  • Dr. Donald Arnold: Management of bleeding emergencies in patients with immune thrombocytopenia (CIHR, $218,025, 2019)
  • Dr. John Eikelboom: Anti-coronavirus therapy (ACT) to prevent COVID-19 disease progression: a clinical trial platform (CIHR, $2,937,000, 2020)
  • Dr. Paul Kim: COVID-19 – comprehensive biomarker analysis for prediction of clinical course and patient treatment outcomes (COVID-BEACONS) (CIHR, $1,173,000, 2020)
  • Dr. Colin Kretz: Investigating the regulation of ADAMTS13 in hemostasis and thrombosis (CIHR, $147,645, 2020)
  • Dr. Deborah Siegal (Co-Principal Investigator): Venous thrombosis virtual surveillance in COVID (VVIRTUOSO) (CIHR, $304,000, 2020)
  • Dr. Geoffrey Werstuck: Investigating the role of glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3 in atherosclerosis (CIHR, $255,256, 2019)

Key Publications

  • Douketis JD, Spyropoulos AC, Duncan J, Carrier M, Le Gal G, Tafur AJ, Vanassche T, Verhamme P, Shivakumar S, Gross PL, Lee AYY, Yeo E, Solymoss S, Kassis J, Le Templier G, Kowalski S, Blostein M, Shah V, MacKay E, Wu C, Clark NP, Bates SM, Spencer FA, Arnaoutoglou E, Coppens M, Arnold DM, Caprini JA, Li M, Moffat KA, Syed S, Schulman S. Perioperative management of patients with atrial fibrillation receiving a direct oral anticoagulant. JAMA Intern Med. 2019 Aug 5;179(11):1469-1478.
  • Kearon C, de Wit K, Parpia S, Schulman S, Afilalo M, Hirsch A, Spencer FA, Sharma S, D’Aragon F, Deshaies J-F, Le Gal G, Lazo-Langner A, Wu C, Rudd-Scott L, Bates SM, Julian JA, for the PEGeD Study Investigators. Diagnosis of pulmonary embolism with D-dimer adjusted to clinical probability. N Engl J Med. 2019 Nov 28;381(22):2125-2134.
  • Walker I, Panzarella T, Couban S, Couture F, Devins G, Elemary M, Gallagher G, Kerr H, Kuruvilla J, Lee SJ, Moore J, Nevill T, Popradi G, Roy J, Schultz KR, Szwajcer D, Toze C, Foley R; Cell Therapy Transplant Canada. Addition of anti-thymocyte globulin to standard graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis versus standard treatment alone in patients with haematological malignancies undergoing transplantation from unrelated donors: final analysis of a randomised, open-label, multicentre, phase 3 trial. Lancet Haematol. 2020 Feb;7(2):e100-e111.
  • Weitz JI, Bauersachs R, Becker B, Berkowitz SD, Freitas MCS, Lassen MR, Metzig C, Raskob GE. Effect of osocimab in preventing venous thromboembolism among patients undergoing knee arthroplasty: the FOXTROT randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2020 Jan 14;323(2):130-139. 

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