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May 7, 1954 ~ October 13, 2023 (age 69) 69 Years Old
PEERSCHKE, ELLINOR IB, passed away on October 13, 2023.
Dr Peerschke served as Vice Chair for Research, Education and Development in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Service Chief of the Clinical Hematology and Coagulation Laboratory Services. She was a key member of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and was at the fulcrum of many of the hospital’s innovations.
Dr Peerschke began her career as a protégé of the late Marjorie Zucker, PhD. She received her PhD in Pathology/Basic Sciences in 1980 and spent the summer as a Visiting Research Scientist at The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. Her groundbreaking PhD thesis in platelet physiology provided the groundwork for many future scientific contributions. In 1980, Barry Coller, MD, her longtime mentor and research collaborator, appointed her Head of Clinical Hematology Laboratories, University Hospital, SUNY at Stony Brook, a position which she held until 1996 when she joined Cornell Weill Medical Center as Professor of Pathology and Chief of the Clinical Hematology Laboratory Service. In 2007, she was recruited to Mount Sinai Medical Center as Professor of Pathology, Chief, Division of Translational and Applied Research and Director of the Hematology and Coagulation Laboratories where she stayed until 2011, at which time she joined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as Vice Chair & Attending Pathologist, Department of Laboratory Medicine. In addition, she was the Director of the Laboratory Medicine Fellowship program for clinical pathology. Her influence on the education of clinical pathology students was profound. She was a member of many professional and educational organizations, including President of Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists, Vice President of NASCOLA and Chair of Proficiency Testing, member of the Education Committee of the American Society of Hematology, member of the Thrombosis Study Group of the American Heart Association and a participant of the NIH Heart, Lung and Blood Program Project Research Review Committee, member of the International Advisory Board of the ISTH and other prestigious positions. She was recognized and honored for her seminal contributions on numerous occasions over her distinguished 40-year career.
Dr. Ellinor Peerschke leaves behind an important legacy of innovative research in Hematology and Coagulation. Her early research focused on understanding platelet-platelet interactions via platelet membrane glycoproteins IIb-IIIa, and she was the credited co-discoverer of the latter and their contributions to platelet aggregation. She collaborated on the discovery of the anti-coagulant effects of aspirin. In the latter part of her career, her research emphasis was on the biomarkers that predict arterial and venous thrombosis, and the interface between cancer and the coagulation system. She also produced important immunologic studies in partnership with her husband, Dr. Berhane Ghebrehiwet. She has more than 150 papers to her credit with her primary focus on platelet activation, complement and coagulation systems. Her laboratory identified novel membrane receptors for the complement component C1q. She discovered the expression of gC1qR, a multifunctional cellular protein which interacts with components of complement, kinin, and coagulation cascades on platelets and vascular endothelial cells and characterized gC1qR interactions with S. aureus and gC1qR expression in cancer, as well as developing a commercial assay for measuring soluble gC1qR levels in plasma and body fluids.
Ellinor Peerschke was born in Braunschweig, Germany. She moved to the United States at the age of 11 and grew up in Verona, New Jersey. Her undergraduate degree in Biology was from Rutgers University. She obtained her PhD from New York University.
Ellinor was as passionately devoted to family and friends as to her career. She loved to roam the world with her husband and made memorable occasions of every family gathering. She always remembered everyone's birthday or special day and often added reasons to celebrate. Ellinor’s creative streak was at the forefront in her cooking and holiday preparations. Wherever Ellinor went, she was recognized for her elegance and courtesy. She was also musical, finding deep relaxation at her own piano or her cherished subscription to the New York Metropolitan Opera.
Ellinor leaves behind her husband and frequent research partner, Berhane Ghebrehiwet; her brother, Elgar Peerschke, adoring nephews and nieces, and a large extended family in the United States, Eritrea, France and Germany.