Marshall A. Lichtman

Marshall A. Lichtman

Marshall A. Lichtman was born in New York City in 1934 to Vera (Silverstein) and Samuel Lichtman. He spent his early years in the Bronx, his father’s home. Because of his father’s service in the Army Air Corps during World War II (1942-1945), he attended public schools in the Bronx, Buffalo, N.Y., Sumter, S.C. (Army Air Corps base), Miami, Fl., and Los Angeles. After the War, the Lichtman family settled in Buffalo where he attended grade school and then Lafayette High School (1947-1951). Lichtman received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University in 1955, having majored in Zoology. In June 1957, Lichtman married Alice Jo Maisel (Lichtman) in Buffalo. They have three daughters (Susan, Joanne, and Pamela) and seven grandchildren.

Lichtman received his medical degree from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine in 1960. During the summers and electives of medical school, he worked at the Roswell Park Memorial Institute in Buffalo with Avery Sandberg, M.D. and W. Roy Slaunwhite, Ph.D., leading endocrine biochemists of the day, initially trying to develop a quantitative assay of the recently discovered hormone aldosterone, and subsequently participating in a study of the biosynthesis of 14C-labelled estriol glucuronide, which resulted in his first scientific publication in 1965. Because Sandberg was also a hematologist and was responsible for reading the blood and marrow examinations of patients at the Institute, Lichtman became interested in hematological diagnosis.

Lichtman did his medical residency at the University of Rochester Medical Center from 1960 to 1963, being attracted to the institution because it had one of the leading training programs in internal medicine and a nationally recognized hematology program. Thereafter, he served two years as a post-doctoral research associate in epidemiology at the School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C. to complete his two years of required government service. Having entered the U.S. Public Health Service in 1963 to meet his service requirement, he had a unique assignment to the University of North Carolina where the Public Health Service was undertaking the analysis of data derived from studies of the cardiovascular health of a biracial population in Evans County, Ga. In 1965 he returned to the University of Rochester as chief resident in medicine. Pursuing his interest in hematology, Lichtman was a postdoctoral research trainee in the Depts. of Medicine and of Biophysics (1966-67) and received a USPHS special postdoctoral research fellowship to study blood cells in leukemia (1967-69). He received the Leukemia Society of America Scholar Award in 1969 to study biophysical abnormalities in leukemic cells supplemented by a research grant from the National Cancer Institute (1971).

Lichtman was appointed instructor of medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1965; senior instructor of medicine in 1966; assistant professor of medicine in 1968; assistant professor of medicine and of radiation biology and biophysics in 1970; associate professor of medicine and of radiation biology and biophysics in 1971; and professor of medicine and of radiation biology and biophysics in 1974. In 1975 Lichtman was named chief of the hematology unit, and from 1979 to 1989 served as associate dean and senior associate dean for academic affairs and research. In 1989, he was named academic dean. Lichtman served as dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry for 6 years from January 1, 1990 through December 31,1995.

Lichtman has served as a consultant and visiting professor, and has been active in several local, regional, national and international scientific societies, including the American Physiological Society. He was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and was named a Master of the American College of Physicians. He served on the American Institute of Biological Sciences, Peer Review Group for the Division of Biological and Medical Research of the U. S. Navy (1974-1976), the Hematology Study Section of the National Institutes of Health (1982-86), the Board of Governors of the American Red Cross (1990-96), as chairman of the American Red Cross Scientific Council (1987-95), president of the American Society of Hematology (1989), and executive vice-president for research and medical affairs of the Leukemia Society of America, subsequently named the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (1996-2007). He is the author of over 390 scientific articles, review articles, editorials, commentaries, and book chapters, and editor or co-editor of 18 monographs and textbooks, including the 3rd (1983) through 9th (2016) editions of Williams Hematology. He has also been the editor of Williams Manual of Hematology, Lichtman’s Atlas of Hematology, and Hematology: Landmark Papers of the 20th Century. In addition, Lichtman has served on the editorial board of several scientific journals and as editor-in-chief of Blood cells, Molecules, and Diseases (2000-13). He has served on the Council of Graduate Medical Education of New York State (1991-3) and the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York (2010-18), the latter two positions gubernatorial appointments. In 2017, he received the Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Society of Hematology.