Boston City Hospital and the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory: The birth of modern haematology

Jeffrey M. Elrod, Anand B. Karnad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Established in 1923, the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory at Boston City Hospital was the first clinical research laboratory in a municipal hospital in the United States of America. Minor and Castle, who were the second and third directors of the Laboratory, were pioneer haematologists and clinical investigators of the highest calibre who created an atmosphere at the Laboratory that would foster patient-centred research and attract the best physician-scientists to work and train there. The haematology research division of the Laboratory made important original contributions to the understanding of the pathophysiology of anaemia, the mechanisms of red cell and platelet destruction and the phagocytic role of the spleen, the nature of haemoglobin (normal and sickle cell), the nature of haemophilia and its therapy and the early classification of lymphoma. It contributed to the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory's worldwide reputation as a model research laboratory and established its reputation as the birthplace of modern haematology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-389
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Boston
  • Clinical research
  • Haematology
  • History

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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