McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Professor takes German prize

Published: September 16, 2013
Nancy Heddle
Nancy Heddle, a professor of medicine and director of the McMaster Transfusion Research Program

A McMaster University professor, who has made significant advances in the use of blood transfusions, is the first Canadian to win a prestigious award in Germany.

Nancy Heddle, a professor of medicine and director of the McMaster Transfusion Research Program, will receive the Emil von Behring lecture award from the German Society of Transfusion Medicine and Immunohematology on Sept. 24.

Her clinical research career as a member of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine has spanned more than 30 years. Early on she received international attention when she was able to debunk the long-held theory that some patients develop a rejection reaction on receiving blood platelets, with her proof the reaction was the result of blood storage methods before transfusion. Her research has covered many areas in the field of blood transfusion, including research methodology to improve how studies are done.

Gregor Bein, president of the German Society, said Heddle was being honoured "for her extraordinary scientific activity in transfusion medicine, especially platelet transfusion."

"German scientists have made major contributions to transfusion medicine over the years and it is an honour to receive this award named after a German Nobel laureate," said Heddle. "I have been fortunate to spend my entire career at an innovative university like McMaster and to work with outstanding research faculty and the supportive staff at the McMaster Transfusion Research Program."

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