Elo Giblett Endowed Professorship in Hematology
The Elo Giblett Endowed Professorship in Hematology was established in 2010 to recruit and retain distinguished faculty in the Division of Hematology and to pay tribute to the memory and achievements of Eloise R. “Elo” Giblett, a longtime faculty member at UW Medicine. This professorship was funded, in part, by planned gifts from Dr. Giblett. Her niece, Leslie Giblett, completed the professorship’s funding.
Eloise R. “Elo” Giblett, M.S. ’47 (microbiology), M.D. ’51, Fel. ’55 (hematology), was born Jan. 16, 1921 and died Sept. 16, 2009. Dr. Giblett was an alumna of the University of Washington, and she received an undergraduate degree in bacteriology at the UW, as well as several other degrees. Following the receipt of her M.D., she pursued a fellowship with UW Medicine faculty member Dr. Clem Finch, and, in 1956, they demonstrated the quantization of the lifespan of red blood cells.
Dr. Giblett had a long and distinguished career at the University of Washington, attaining the rank of full professor in 1967. She discovered adenosine deaminase deficiency, the first known immunodeficiency disease. She also identified genetic markers in blood and demonstrated the feasibility of unrelated marrow transplantation for leukemia; she identified and characterized many blood group antigens. (The ELO antigen is named in her honor.) In addition, Dr. Giblett developed a screening policy for blood donors before assays for HIV were available.
Dr. Giblett was a member of and leader in many national and international scientific committees as well as in medical and genetics societies. She served as president of the American Society of Human Genetics in 1973. She also was a board member of the American Society of Hematology, the Western Association of Physicians and the New York Blood Center Research Advisory Committee. In 1980, Dr. Giblett was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences and was awarded the Seattle Matrix Table. In 1981, she became a fellow of the National Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Giblett also served as the associate director of Puget Sound Blood Center from 1955 to 1979 and as the center’s executive director until she retired in 1987.
In retirement, Dr. Giblett was awarded emeritus status at both the University of Washington and the Puget Sound Blood Center, and, during her retirement years, she devoted much of her time to music, playing the violin in several amateur groups — Dr. Giblett especially enjoyed chamber music. She was on the board of the Music Center of the Northwest and strongly supported all forms of classical music. In thinking about Dr. Giblett, Hematology Division Head Jan Abkowitz, M.D., said, “All of us who knew Elo as a scientist, collaborator or friend remember her insightful discussion on whatever the topic might be and her underlying passion. We will miss her.”
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