Terry Gernsheimer
Medical Advisory Board, News

Congratulations to the recipient of the Robert McMillan, MD Award for 2023 – Dr Terry Gernsheimer

Dr. Terry Gersheimer stands as a shining example in the field of immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) research, earning the esteemed Robert McMillan Award in 2023.

This accolade, named after the pioneering Dr Robert McMillan, honours those who emulate his generous spirit, dedication to science, and commitment to improving the lives of individuals living with ITP through advocacy, research, or service.

Embarking on her medical journey, Dr. Gersheimer obtained her BS in Biochemical Sciences in 1975, followed by an MD from SUNY (Stony Brook, NY) in 1990. Her career trajectory showcases a commitment to excellence, earning certifications from the American Board of Internal Medicine in 1994 and the American Board of Internal Medicine, Hematology Subspecialty in 2000 and 2011.

Terry Gernsheimer ITP Patient Meeting 2019Presently, she holds the esteemed positions of Professor of Medicine (Hematology) and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Washington. Her influence in the world of ITP extends far beyond these academic credentials.

One of Dr. Gersheimer’s groundbreaking contributions was her pivotal role on the team of Sherrill Slichter and Penn Ballem, where they formally proved that patients with ITP exhibit platelet production defects (J Clin Invest. 1987 July;80(1):33-40). This team also demonstrated the effects of steroids and IVIg on platelet production and survival in ITP, marking a significant advancement in understanding the condition (NEJM 1989).

Her involvement with the Trap Study Group further solidifies her legacy. This collaborative effort resulted in the largest clinical trial to date, showcasing that leukoreduction of platelets significantly reduces platelet alloimmunisation and refractoriness (Transfusion. 1995 Jan;35(1):13-19., N Engl J Med. 1997 Dec 25;337(26):1861-9).

Notably, Terry has gained worldwide recognition for her work in ITP during pregnancy, as evidenced by her contributions to the field (Curr Opin Hematol. 2007 Sep;14(5):574-80). Her involvement in seminal clinical studies played a pivotal role in establishing the efficacy of thrombopoietin receptor agonists (TPORAs) in treating ITP (Lancet. 2008 Feb 2;371(9610):395-403).

Participating actively in international collaborations, Dr. Gersheimer has been a crucial member of the International Working Groups on ITP (Blood. 2009 Mar 12;113(11):2386-93, Blood. 2013 April 4;121(14):2596-606). Her contributions extend to the International Consensus Report on ITP, a vital document published in Blood Advances in 2019.

Terry Gernsheimer Robert McMillan Award

Since 2002, Dr. Gersheimer has served as a medical advisor for the Platelet Disorder Support Association (PDSA). Her unwavering commitment is reflected in her consistent attendance at annual ITP meetings, earning her the admiration of patients within the PDSA organisation. Her clinical expertise in ITP is nothing short of stellar, always going above and beyond to support her patients and earning her the title of a patient favourite.

Dr. Gersheimer’s impact extends beyond the borders of the United States. She plays an active role as a member of the Medical Advisory Board with ITP Australia and New Zealand since its inception in 2019. Her global engagement underscores her commitment to the international ITP community, furthering collaboration and knowledge exchange across borders.

Beyond her scientific accomplishments, Dr. Gersheimer’s character shines through. Known for her highest, most uncompromising standards of integrity, she embodies the spirit of Dr Robert McMillan, whose legacy this award aims to honour. Her multifaceted contributions, spanning research, advocacy, and service, make her a truly deserving recipient of the 2023 Robert McMillan Award.

Congratulations to Terry on this latest accolade. Her journey is a testament to the profound impact that one individual can have on the understanding and treatment of ITP. Her legacy is not only marked by scientific breakthroughs but also by her unwavering support for patients and her dedication to fostering collaboration within the global ITP community.

While we celebrate her achievements, we recognise the ripple effect of her work, touching the lives of countless individuals living with this rare disease while shaping the future of research and care in the field.



Learn more about Terry here.



Source: ASH ITP Update organised by the PDSA