Sol Schulman, MD, PhD, Receives 2019 NIH Director’s Early Independence Award

Lindsey Diaz-MacInnis (BIDMC Communications) ldiaz2@bidmc.harvard.edu, 617-667-7372

OCTOBER 02, 2019

BOSTON – Sol Schulman, MD, PhD, a physician-scientist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has received a 2019 NIH Director’s Early Independence Award based on his ongoing research into cellular tissue factor (TF) and its contribution to the pathogenesis and inheritance of broadly defined hemorrhagic and thrombotic diseases, including postpartum hemorrhage, pulmonary embolism, heart attack and stroke. One of three national awards created to accelerate the pace of biomedical, behavioral, and social science discoveries by supporting exceptionally creative scientists with highly innovative research, the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award supports outstanding junior scientists with the intellect, scientific creativity, drive and maturity to flourish independently, launch independent research careers and bypass the traditional postdoctoral training period.

“Many individuals remain at risk for abnormal bleeding and thrombotic diseases that are undetectable using currently available clinical laboratory testing,” said Schulman. “This grant provides critical resources to develop a potentially transformative research program aimed at defining and targeting these novel sources of bleeding and thrombotic risk.  I am honored to be selected for this unique award.”

An investigator in the Division of Hemostasis and Thrombosis at BIDMC and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Schulman’s research integrates human genetics, functional genomics and cell biology to identify new mechanisms that regulate the initiation of blood coagulation. Schulman seeks to understand genetic modifiers of the TF pathway relevant to human bleeding and thrombotic risk, which also inform new therapeutic strategies for these disorders. Schulman maintains a focused clinical practice within the Division of Hematology and Oncology in non-malignant hematology, with particular expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with rare bleeding and clotting disorders.

"Dr. Schulman is a generational talent in the field of hemostasis and thrombosis,” said Rob Flaumenhaft, MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of Hemostasis and Thrombosis at BIDMC. “We are thrilled that his scientific potential is being recognized on the national stage and look forward with great anticipation to his contributions to our field.”

TF is the primary initiator of blood coagulation in humans, but despite decades of close investigation, the mechanisms by which TF expression and procoagulant activity are regulated on the vascular cell surface remain poorly understood. Inappropriate TF procoagulant activity underlies myocardial infarction, venous thromboembolism, cancer-associated thrombosis and stroke. TF expression and activity must therefore be carefully regulated in vascular tissues to enable hemostasis following injury but prevent pathologic thrombosis. Schulman and colleagues combine functional genomics, human and rodent genetics, cell biology and protein biochemistry to dissect the TF-dependent initiation of blood coagulation. Because the contribution of cellular TF is not captured by clinical coagulation testing, these critical modifiers of human bleeding and thrombotic risk remain undetected in human populations.

About Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School and consistently ranks as a national leader among independent hospitals in National Institutes of Health funding.

BIDMC is in the community with Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth, Anna Jaques Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Lawrence General Hospital, Signature Healthcare, Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare, Community Care Alliance and Atrius Health. BIDMC is also clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and Hebrew Rehabilitation Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and the Jackson Laboratory. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.org.

BIDMC is part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a new health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,000 physicians and 35,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.