Maxwell M. Wintrobe, MD, PhD
Chair, Department of Internal Medicine, 1943-1967
Maxwell M. Wintrobe, MD, PhD was recruited to the University of Utah from Johns Hopkins University in 1943 to develop a Department of Internal Medicine and expand the medical school. He was already a nationally known and respected teacher and investigator in hematology. Dr. Wintrobe received his medical degree from the University of Manitoba. His first faculty position was at Tulane University (1927), where he began a life-longcareer of studies of the blood and, among other accomplishments, devised the hematocrit –an essential clinical assay that is used globally. He also devised a new classification of the anemias, a study that generated a PhD thesis and degree, and also resulted in his recruitment to Johns Hopkins. Dr. Wintrobe was later the single author of the first edition of Clinical Hematology, which is still considered the premier hematology textbook for medical investigators and clinicians worldwide.
With only a verbal promise that a teaching hospital would be a reality within three years, Dr. Wintrobe arrived in Salt Lake City undaunted by the challenges before him. He created a department that produced remarkable accomplishments in research, clinical care, and education.
He was principal investigator on the first extramural research grant ever awarded to a medical school by the U.S. Public Health Service. The 1946 grant was renewed annually for 23 years by the National Institutes of Health and provided a total of nearly $10 million to support Dr. Wintrobe’s research.
The recipient of numerous awards, Dr. Wintrobe was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He also received the highest award from the Western Society for Clinical Investigation, Mastership in the American College of Physicians, and received the Kober Medal from the Association of American Physicians. He was editor-in-chief of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine from 1966-1974.