Tribute to Long-Time NDRI Board Member and Chair Emeritus Dr. Hal Broxmeyer

“I am thankful for each good day I have…What about you..?” Those are some of the last words recounted by one of Hal’s dear friends and colleagues Patrick J. Loehrer, Sr., MD.

Dr Hal Broxmeyer contributed many of those good days to being a tireless advocate of NDRI’s mission, as a board member for more than twenty years, and eventually board chair. Hal E. Broxmeyer, Ph.D., Chair Emeritus of the NDRI Board and Distinguished Professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine, is noted for contributing to the world’s first successful cord blood transplant.  

Competitive to the core, Hal was a champion weightlifter winning national titles in 1990 and 1994 from the Master’s Weightlifting National Championship. Born in Brooklyn, NY on November 27, 1944, he grew up a lifelong baseball fan and excelled in track and field, eventually leading to his lifelong passion of weightlifting. After graduating from Brooklyn College in 1966, he subsequently obtained his M.S. from Long Island University in 1968, and his Ph.D. from New York University in 1973. Hal continued his education at Queen’s University, completing a post-doctoral fellowship and soon after began working at the Sloan Kettering Institute in New York. He then arrived at the Indiana University Medical Center, where he would remain for the duration of his career.  

Hal’s academic distinctions and lasting impact are reflected in his 838 peer reviewed publications, having been cited over 70,000 times. 

A pioneer in the field of human cord blood research, his work in Paris on October 6, 1988 led to the first of many successful cord blood transplantations, that has since helped an estimated 40,000 patients. Hal’s lasting impact on the field of cord blood transplantation leaves an indelible mark, improving the lives of patients needing it most. 

On December 8th 2021, after battling thyroid cancer Hal succumbed to his illness, passing away peacefully in his home at the age of 77.  

In an interview with NDRI in 2021, Hal said, “I enjoy helping NDRI fulfill its highly notable goal of improving health care by helping researchers and clinical investigators get the tissues and organs they need to further their experimental work.”

Hal E. Broxmeyer will be missed by family, friends, and colleagues alike especially here at NDRI.  We thank him for his service and commitment to science.