Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) clinician-scientist Morris Blajchman passed away peacefully on May 4.
Blajchman, a hematologist, was a professor emeritus of both medicine and pathology and molecular medicine who joined McMaster University in 1970 and retired in 2005.
“Dr. Blajchman was one of the founding members of the Faculty of Medicine at McMaster. His seminal work in transfusion medicine established standards that are still relevant today,” said Mark Crowther, chair of the Department of Medicine and a hematologist.
Blajchman’s extensive research included studies of new platelet products and substitutes, blood transfusions, the significance of bacteria in the blood supply and alternatives to transfusions in critical care patients. He also investigated blood clotting factors.
“Dr. Blajchman was a true clinician-scientist, with well over 300 peer-reviewed publications and leadership roles in the transfusion medicine research programs at McMaster. Mo taught generations of medical students and residents,” said Murray Potter, chair of the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine.
John Kelton, distinguished university professor of medicine and of pathology and molecular medicine, described Blajchman as “a great teacher, a strong mentor, a supporter for many of us, and a genuinely nice person. He was always very sincere and gentle and a great friend.”
“I consider Dr. Morris Blajchman to be one of Canada’s most important transfusion medicine scientists of my lifetime,” he said.
In 2007, Blajchman was appointed chair of the Transfusion Medicine and Hemostasis Clinical Trials Network by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in the United States.
“We are all deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend and colleague Dr. Morris Blajchman,” said Paul O’Byrne, FHS dean and vice-president.
“His pioneering research in transfusion medicine helped cement McMaster’s reputation as a global centre of excellence in hematology and improved the lives of countless patients.”
Blajchman and his wife Janet moved to Baltimore in 2021 to be close to their two children and grandchildren.