Published July 13, 2020

Flesh and Blood

As a medical student and doctoral fellow, Claire Philipp discovered her passion for understanding leukemia and other blood disorders and saving the lives of those affected by them.

Claire Philipp is a professor of medicine and chief of the division of hematology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS). She is an authority on hematologic disorders, with areas of focus in congenital and acquired hemorrhagic, platelet, and thrombotic disorders. She is the director of the Motolinsky Research Laboratory. She also is the director of the RWJMS Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. This fellowship offers specialized training in hematology and medical oncology to physicians who have completed their residencies.

photo of claire philippShe oversees the New Jersey Regional Hemophilia Program at RWJMS, a statewide referral program that provides comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis, and management of hemorrhagic disorders. She is medical director of the RWJMS Special Hemostasis Laboratory, which performs specialized testing for hemorrhagic disorders.

Philipp graduated from the Brown University School of Medicine and completed her residency in internal medicine at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. She completed a fellowship in hematology at New York University and a National Research Council postdoctoral research fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Melvyn, Ab, and Yetta Motolinsky Chair in Hematology was endowed by the Melvyn H. Motolinsky Research Foundation. Melvyn Motolinsky RC’64, the son of Ab and Yetta Motolinsky, was 26 years old and about to embark on a career in law when he was diagnosed with leukemia. He died two months later. The foundation is committed to saving lives by supporting research that will lead to the treatment and cure of leukemia and other blood disorders.

In the Professor’s Own Words

Why did you choose hematology as a specialty?

I first became intrigued with hematology as a second-year medical student because of blood’s interesting pathophysiology. During residency, the complex diagnostic challenges of blood disorders continued to keep me passionate about pursuing hematology as a subspecialty. It was clear to me that advancing research and treatment in hematology can result in improved health outcomes and survival for patients with a wide spectrum of blood disorders, cancer, and other life-threatening diseases.

What progress have you seen in the past 10 years?

Advances in scientific technology, including molecular diagnostics, immunotherapy, new biological and drug treatments, and gene therapy, have improved classifying, diagnosing, and treating hematologic diseases.

What has the support of the Motolinsky Foundation meant to your work?

Through salary support, the endowed chair has provided protected time for me to pursue clinical hematology research and to mentor junior faculty and trainees as they establish their research activities in hematology.

What aspects of your work are most fulfilling?

Seeing the impact of clinical research on actual clinical practice resulting in improvement in patients’ lives is extraordinarily fulfilling. And seeing trainees and junior faculty develop their own passion for the field of hematology and become the next generation of hematologists is amazing!


This story is part of Rutgers University Foundation’s Endowed Chairs Impact series. Supporting professorships and research helps spark innovation and creativity here in New Jersey and beyond.