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NIH Record - 75th Anniversary - National Institutes of Health

Biochemist Schiffman Remembered

Dr. Schiffman

Dr. Elliott Schiffman

Dr. Elliott Schiffman, an NIH intramural biochemist who made major discoveries in cancer immunotherapy, died at his home in Chevy Chase, Md., on Dec. 31. He was 95. 

Schiffman had a long career at NIH, starting with the National Heart Institute (now the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute) in 1955. In 1962, he moved to the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR, now NIDCR). From 1985 to 1990, he worked at the National Cancer Institute. 

While at NIH, he demonstrated how hemin is synthesized in the body, and he identified attractants that draw inflammatory cells to attack invading bacteria. He won a Director’s Award at NIDR for showing that attaching an antibiotic to these attractants hastened the end of an infection.

Schiffman is remembered for his mentorship of young scientists, his kindness and his great sense of humor. 

He was born in 1927 in Newark, N.J. He received his B.S. from Yale University in 1948 and his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1955. He is survived by his wife Genevieve.—Michael Somes

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