History of the Cardeza Foundation for Hematologic Research
We are intensely proud of the history of Hematology at Thomas Jefferson University. The first American to write a textbook of Hematology was a Jefferson physician, Dr. John Chalmers DaCosta. This textbook, called Clinical Hematology, was published in 1901 and predated Wintrobe’s famous text (by the same name) by 41 years.
In 1939 Mr. and Mrs. Thomas D. Cardeza founded the Cardeza Foundation for Hematologic Research as a memorial to Mr. Cardeza’s mother, Charlotte Drake Cardeza. Since that time the Foundation has supported research, education and clinical Hematology services in the Department of Medicine at the Sydney Kimmel Medical College of the Thomas Jefferson University. Such support has fulfilled the gracious intentions of the Cardezas and enabled creation of one of the premier academic Hematology programs in the world.
The Cardeza Family
Charlotte Drake Cardeza (1854-1939) is the central character in the origin of the Cardeza Foundation for Hematologic Research. Charlotte’s father was Thomas Drake (1807-1890), a British textile manufacturer who built a woolen mill in Manayunk in Philadelphia. Thomas Drake became a successful and wealthy businessman after he pioneered the manufacturing of “Kentucky Jeans,” a blue denim jean supplied to the Union Army during the Civil War, and organized the Fidelity Trust Company.
Charlotte’s marriage to James Warburton Martinez Cardeza in 1874 united the Cardeza and Drake families. James was the grandson of Count Juan Martinez Cardeza from La Coruna, Spain; both are buried in the Saint Peter’s Episcopal Churchyard (3rd and Pine St, Philadelphia; founded in 1758 by members of Christ’s Church). Charlotte and James had only one child, Thomas D. Cardeza (1875-1952).
Charlotte inherited the Drake fortune and lived in a mansion (Montebello) in Germantown, PA, noted for having a small zoo, free roaming elks and bison and kennels for Great Dane dogs. She has been described as “ahead of her time” and was the first woman to circumnavigate the world. She was an avid art collector and a big game hunter in both Africa and India. It was on a return from an African safari with her son Thomas that the ship on which she was sailing struck an iceberg and sank, April 14, 1912. Fortunately, the Titanic had lifeboats, and Charlotte and Thomas were ultimately rescued from lifeboat #3, an artifact that can be seen today in the Cardeza archives.
The link between Charlotte Drake Cardeza and the current Cardeza Foundation for Hematologic Research stems through Thomas D. Cardeza’s wife, Mary Racine. Mary and Thomas were married in 1899. Mary was a Red Cross nurse and, at the outbreak of the World War I, entered Red Cross service on the European eastern front. In 1916 she was decorated by the Red Cross for her work in the Radom district of Russian Poland and along the Romanian border. During this time, she witnessed the discovery of red blood cell groups and the beginning of the blood transfusion era. Mary had a “chronic blood disorder,” the nature of which is not known. Her physician was Dr. Franklin A. Miller, a clinical hematologist in the Hematology Division at Thomas Jefferson University. This relationship sparked the life-long commitment of the Cardezas to Hematology research.
In 1939, Thomas D. Cardeza joined the Jefferson Medical College Board of Trustees. Upon the death of his mother that same year, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas D. Cardeza established the Cardeza Foundation for Hematologic Research as a memorial. The initial funding included $50,000 per year for not less than 10 years. This support represented a large sum in those days, and enabled the development of a strong research effort in Hematology to support and synergize with the superb clinical service component. Unfortunately, Mary R. Cardeza ultimately succumbed to her blood disease in 1943. When Thomas D. Cardeza died in 1952, the remainder of his estate (estimates range from $5-$8 million) was used to establish the Trust that has supported The Cardeza Foundation for Hematologic Research ever since. Both Thomas and Charlotte Drake Cardeza are buried in the West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, PA.
The Cardeza Trust income was restricted to support personnel, equipment and supplies. By the late 1950s, the faculty and staff had outgrown its space. Fortunately, Mr. J. Howard Pew, Chair of the Cardeza Board, saw the need for a separate building for the Foundation activities. Through his generosity, a three story building on 1015 Sansom was purchased and renovated. In 1960, Cardeza moved into its own building, enabling a coherent unit of integrated academic activities, including research labs, administration and a Blood Donor Center. The next 15 years saw tremendous growth, productivity and international acclaim.
In 1975 the Cardeza building was donated to make room for the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and the Foundation moved to the 7th, 8th and 9th floors of the Curtis Building. The Cardeza Blood Donor Center, Tissue Typing Center and Sickle Cell Anemia Center moved to the first floor; the Cardeza Hemophilia Center moved to the 2nd floor of the old hospital and eventually outpatient activities were located on the 4th floor of the new Gibbon hospital building.
By the turn of the century, the space in the Curtis Building had fallen into terrible disrepair. In 2012, the Cardeza Foundation for Hematologic Research was pleased to move into a state-of-the-art renovated laboratory and office space on the 3rd flood of Jefferson Alumni Hall. A series of moves around 2010 enabled consolidation of all Hematology clinical services on the 13th floor of the 1015 Chestnut Building, including General Hematology, the Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center and the Sickle Cell Center.
Harold W. Jones, MD was the first Cardeza director and presided from 1939 to 1954. He was a respected Hematologist and personal physician to Mrs. Mary R. Cardeza. He developed a vision for a Division of Hematology that was 100 years ahead of his time by proposing what today we would call “Translational Research.” Specifically, Dr. Jones envisioned a Hematology Division that would include a detailed laboratory study of patient blood using specially trained personnel, another component of basic research and a third facet that would provide carefully matched blood for transfusion. Dr. Jones was one of the founders of the Jefferson Society for Clinical Investigation.
Leandro M. Tocantins, MD directed Cardeza from 1954 to 1963. Dr. Tocantins was a productive, highly respected and influential member of the academic Hematologic community. His work on blood platelets resulted in the classic monograph Mammalian Blood Platelets in Health and Disease, published in 1938, which exerted a major influence on subsequent studies of this blood cell. He also spearheaded the field of autoimmunity by producing thrombocytopenia by infusing an anti-platelet serum. This study led to attempts to treat both idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and acquired hemolytic anemia with macrophage blocking agents such as radioactive gold. His broad research accomplishments also extended to abnormal hemoglobins, bone marrow transplantation and the inhibitor found in many patients with hemophilia. During Dr. Tocantins’s tenure, clinical Hematology research in erythropoiesis and hemolytic anemias was greatly strengthened in Cardeza.
Alan J. Erslev, MD was the third Cardeza director from 1963-1985 and an internationally acclaimed Hematologist. In 1953, Dr. Erslev demonstrated the existence of a circulating hormone that stimulated red blood cell production (later named erythropoietin). He established the feedback mechanism by which kidney sensing of hypoxia led to erythropoietin production and increased red cell mass. His seminal work paved the isolation, cloning, production and development for erythropoietin as a vital therapeutic for various anemias. Dr. Erslev was an editor of the major textbook called Hematology. He was beloved by his numerous Hematology trainees for his 35 years of dedicated teaching at Thomas Jefferson University.
Sandor S. Shapiro, MD was the fourth Cardeza director. For almost 40 years, Dr. Shapiro served on the Jefferson medical staff and was director from 1985 to 2000. In 1973, Dr. Shapiro established a Thrombosis and Hemorrhagic Disease Section and a state-supported Hemophilia Treatment Center. An outstanding clinician-scientist, Dr. Shapiro made major contributions in coagulation and thrombosis. Besides his passion for science, Sandy was famous for his love of music and performed professionally as a violinist.
Paul F. Bray, MD was the sixth Cardeza director from 2006 to 2016. Dr. Bray is a clinician-scientist with a focus on thrombosis and platelet biology. He is an internationally recognized leader in the molecular biology of platelets, their genomics and transcriptomics, and has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1986. In addition to patient care, Dr. Bray directed the Cardeza Special Coagulation Laboratory and was Associate Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Medicine.
Steven E. McKenzie, MD, PhD directed Cardeza from 2000 to 2005, and has resumed the role as Cardeza's current director since 2016. An international expert in heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, Dr. McKenzie developed the only animal model of the disease – a model that has been used worldwide. Dr. McKenzie served as the University Vice President for Research from 2005-2012. During this time, Dr. McKenzie led the successful fundraising effort to renovate lab and office space in Jefferson Alumni Hall, enabling the current housing of the Cardeza Foundation for Hematologic Research. Currently, he continues to perform cutting-edge research and to co-direct the Cardeza Hemophilia Center and direct the Hereditary Anemias program.
Selected Cardeza Accomplishments
Over the past 75 years, the Cardeza successes are too numerous to review in detail. These successes stem directly from the support of the Cardeza family and its generous endowment, as well as the dedicated, hard-working and loyal faculty and staff that have generated these successes. These people comprise a modern-day Cardeza “family.”
Drs. Harold Jones, Robert Carroll and Ruth Holburn established the first Jefferson Hemophilia Clinic.
Drs. Harold Jones and Lowell Erf established the Jefferson Blood Bank.
Drs. Tocantins and Farid Haurani demonstrated the feasibility of human bone marrow transplantation.
Dr. Haurani directed the Jefferson branch of the National Cooperative Acute Leukemia Group B; Dr. Haurani also made important contributions to the understanding of iron and B12 metabolism.
Dr. Sandor S. Shapiro demonstrated that acquired Factor VIII inhibitors (that develop in about 10-15% of treated patients with hemophilia) were caused by antibodies.
Dr. Alan J. Erslev demonstrated a circulating hormone that stimulated red blood cell production (later named erythropoietin). This hormone controls the rate of red cell production and plays a major role in the recovery from blood loss and in the adaptation to high altitudes.
Drs. Thomas Gabuzda, Ruth Silver, Lewis Kaza and Jaime Caro worked closely with Dr. Erslev who continued his research in erythropoietin.
Drs. Sandor Shapiro, Melvin Silver, Louis Kazal, Jose Martinez and J. Bryan Smith spearheaded research into coagulation factor kinetics, the immunologic basis for some coagulation disorders and the biochemical processes involved in platelet aggregation and release action.
Drs. Edward Burka, Elias Schwartz (Director of the Division of Pediatric Hematology) and Miss Jean Atwater (Head of Cardeza Laboratories) studied normal and abnormal hemoglobins, identified the defects responsible for several hemoglobinopathies and thalassemias. Their laboratories served as a nationally recognized referral center for abnormal hemoglobins.
Dr. Burka also established a state supported Sickle Cell Center and became Blood Bank Director.
Dr. Samir K. Ballas followed Dr. Burka as Director of the Sickle Cell Center and Blood Bank; he is acknowledged internationally for his expertise in sickle cell pathophysiology, pain management and understanding of the red cell membrane.
Dr. Scott Murphy pioneered blood fractionation and established storage conditions for platelets, which effectively increased their shelf life from hours to the present 5 days.
Dr. Susan Travis, who followed Dr. Schwartz as Director of Pediatric Hematology, was primarily involved in unraveling red cell enzyme function.
Dr. Jaime Caro, a former Cardeza fellow and outstanding clinician-scientist, demonstrated the renal biogenesis and bone marrow action of erythropoietin, established a research and referral center for erythropoietin bioassays and for the diagnosis of polycythemia vera, secondary polycythemia and the anemia of chronic renal disease. Dr. Caro’s characterization of the hypoxia-induced regulation of erythropoietin gene expression demonstrated the role for HIF-1α.
Dr. Perumal Thiagarajan, working with Dr. Sanford Shapiro, developed the dilute Russell Viper venom time (dRVVT), the primary screening test for the lupus anticoagulant that is used worldwide.
Currently, the total Cardeza budget is approximately $10 million, of which about $6.55 million is provided from federal grants and contracts.
Finally, the 75-year successes of the Cardeza academic missions will be forever indebted to a large number of dedicated, wonderful and loyal clinical and administrative staff.
Chronology, pre-Cardeza Foundation
1807 Thomas Drake born
Mid-1800s Thomas Drake’s textile business flourishes
1854 Charlotte Drake born
1854 James Warburton Martinez Cardeza born
1874 Charlotte Drake marries James Warburton Martinez Cardeza
1875 Thomas Drake Martinez Cardeza born
1880 Mary Racine born
1899 Thomas Drake Martinez Cardeza marries Mary Racine
1912 Charlotte Drake Cardeza and Thomas Drake Cardeza survive the sinking of the Titanic
1916 Mary Racine Cardeza decorated by the Red Cross
Chronology, Cardeza Foundation
1939 Thomas D. Cardeza joins the Jefferson Medical College Board of Trustees
1939 Charlotte Drake Cardeza dies
1939 Mr. and Mrs. Thomas D. Cardeza establish the Cardeza Foundation for Hematologic Research in the Division of Hematology in Department of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University as a memorial to Charlotte Drake Cardeza
1939 Harold W. Jones, MD becomes first Cardeza Director
1952 Thomas D. Cardeza dies; remainder of estate establishes Cardeza Trust
1954 Leandro M. Tocantins, MD becomes second Cardeza Director
1960 Cardeza moves to own building at 1015 Sansom
1963 Alan J. Erslev, MD becomes third Cardeza Director
1975 Cardeza moves to 7th, 8th and 9th floors of the Curtis Building
1985 Sandor S. Shapiro, MD becomes the fourth Cardeza Director
2000 Steven E. McKenzie, MD, PhD becomes the fifth Cardeza Director
2006 Paul F. Bray, MD becomes the sixth Cardeza Director
2010 Cardeza/Hematology clinical services consolidated in 1015 Chestnut Building
2012 Cardeza labs move to Jefferson Alumni Hall