Terry Gernsheimer
Medical Advisory Board

ITP Medical Advisory Board – Terry Gernsheimer

We wanted to get to know each of our ITP Australia Medical Advisory Board members a little more so we caught up with Terry recently to find out a little more about her and why she does the amazing things that she does.

We first met Terry in 2018 in a specialty clinic. Terry was warm and sincere and her willingness to help and support patients was genuine.

We later had Terry come along and present at the ITP Australia Patient Meeting in 2019 and she provided invaluable information and insight into pregnancy and ITP along with spending the entire day with us and took the time to met with many patients.

In addition to her impressive list of achievements, she has been a member of the Platelet Disorder Support Association Advisory Board for many years.

Dr Terry GernsheimerITP Australia Medical Advisory Board Terry Gernsheimer

Based: University of Washington Seattle, United States of America

Field of Expertise: Haematology, specifically platelet disorders and bleeding

Bio: Professor of Medicine in the Division of Haematology and an Adjunct Professor in Laboratory Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and Medical Director of Transfusion at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Centre in Seattle, Washington, USA. A leading educator in haematology, haemostasis, and transfusion medicine and her research interests include the pathophysiology and treatment of immune platelet disorders, platelet transfusion and management of bleeding in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and acute leukemia.

Experience: 34 years

What made you decide on work with ITP as a focus?ITP Australia Medical Advisory Board Terry Gernsheimer

I had a patient in residency with Evans Syndrome (ITP and autoimmune hemolytic anemia). I was fascinated. When I came to Seattle I did research with Dr Sherrill Slichter on ITP, looking at platelet production.

What is the most rewarding or challenging ITP related moment in your career?

Finding that production of platelets in ITP was inadequate and later finding that patients with ITP could respond to TPO like substances and increase their platelet count.

How much has treating ITP changed since you first started working with patients?

Tremendous changes have occurred. The big one is being able to stimulate platelet production and achieve safe counts for the majority of patients without immunosuppression or splenectomy.

What would you wish to happen as the next development in ITPITP Australia Medical Advisory Board Terry Gernsheimer treatment?

We still have patients who don’t respond adequately to currently available treatments. We are still looking for safe, effective therapy for those patients.

What is the one piece of advice you’d give to ITP patients and caregivers?

Although it’s important to pay attention to your symptoms and your count, don’t be married to your ITP. Live a full life and find ways to do the things you enjoy.

Outside of work, what do you do to relax and recharge?

I enjoy spending time with my family, my dog, gardening, hiking and travel.


Want to know who what other specialists we have on the ITP Medical Advisory Board? Check out the whole team here.


Main Image source: Seattlecca.org