Brinkhous. Noted Researcher, Dies at 92
Dr. Kenneth M. Brinkhous, who developed the first effective treatment for hemophilia nd was the first scientist to receive 50 years of continuous research funding from the National Institutes of Health, died at his Chapel Hill home on Dec. 11. He was 92. in life-threatening symptoms, such as uncon- trolled bleeding. He continued his ground- breaking research at Chapel Hill while also writing or contributing to more than 450 research papers and books, serving on th
ditorial boards of 18 journals and editing four journals. the department's research into the role of genetics in blood coagulation. In 1955, Brinkhous, along with Drs. Robert Wagner and Robert Langdell, developed the first effective therapy for hemophilia. Ten years later, they developed a method to enable hemophiliacs to trea
hemselves at home. Brinkhous, who came to Carolina in 1946 to chair the pathology department, was regarded as one ofthe nation's leading medical researchers. "Dr. Brinkhous was a truly remarkable man, a gentle, soft-spoken scientific and medical giant who pioneered treatment of a terrible disease;' said Dr. Jeffrey Houpt, dean ofUNC's School of Medicine. "Among his almost unbelievable list ofaccomplishments was growing our pathology department from almost a one-man operation into one of the leading departments ofits kind in the world." He and several col- leagues discovered how to use blood plasma to replace the antihemophilic factor that keeps blood from clot- ting, and in the mid-1940s, two of the more famous campus dogs from throughout Chapel Hill's Dr.
Brinkhous, in 1960.
"AIl ofthe advances made in hemophilia were made on the basis of what was started here in 1946 when Dr. Brinkhous came here," said Dr. Harold R. Roberts ' 52, Kenan professor ofmed- history came to work in icine."Fifty years ago, many hemophiliacs did not survive to adult- hood. Today, patients with classic hemophilia can now live a virtually normal life span because of the advances that Dr. Brinkhous made. His research is Nobel Prize caliber." Brinkhous was an Iowa native who received his bachelor's and medical degrees from Iowa State University of Science and Technology. The University ofIowa appointed him to its faculty in 1932, and he served in the Army Medical Corps in World War II. While at Iowa, Brinkhous discovered that some hemo- philiacs could not make a blood-clotting factor called Factor VIII. Lack of the protein results Brinkhous' lab. Nora and Lynne, two female Irish setters, were offspring ofa New York show dog; both had produced males afllicted with hemophilia. Brinkhous was interested in learning more about them, and soon several members ofthe pathology staff had part-time duties raising puppies, sometimes working overnight shifts to meet the dogs' feeding schedules. The dogs became a vital part of The University named both its Brinkhous- Bullitt Building and an endowed professorship in his honor. In 1969, he received the North Carolina Award in Science.
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