In Memoriam: Lawrence ‘Larry’ Petz, MD

June 15, 2022

Lawrence “Larry” Petz, MD, a celebrated transfusion medicine physician and author of several of the field’s widely used publications, died June 2. Petz was professor emeritus of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UCLA Medical Center, and medical director of StemCyte International Cord Blood Bank.

After finishing his medical education and post-graduate training, Petz completed a fellowship in hematology at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London under Sir John Dacie, MD, FRS, FRCP, FRCPath, a leader in the field of hemolytic anemia. Upon his return the United States, Petz became chief of the Hematology-Immunology Research Unit at Pacific Hospital in San Francisco, where he collaborated with George Garratty, PhD, FRCPath, on patient cases involving immune hemolytic anemia. Petz’s interests in hemolytic anemias and transplantation later expanded as he took on leadership roles at City of Hope National Medical Center, UCLA Medical Center and StemCyte. Later in his career, Petz pursued a cure for HIV using cord blood homozygous for CCR5-Delta 32 mutation.

Petz’s contributions to the blood community extended to involvement and leadership in several professional associations. He was a past president of the California Blood Bank Society, as well as a member of AABB, the American Society of Hematology, the International Society of Blood Transfusion, the Cord Blood Association and more. He received a myriad of awards for his contributions to blood community, including AABB’s Emily Cooley Memorial Award and Lectureship (1991), Tibor Greenwalt Memorial Award and Lectureship (2006), George Fantas Medal for Lifetime Achievement (2010) and AABB President’s Award (2017).