School of Medicine

Edward Shanbrom, MD, Orange County's first oncologist and UC Irvine supporter, dies at 87

Shanbroms at UC Irvine Medal ceremony in 2006.
Shanbroms at UC Irvine
Medal ceremony in 2006.

March 8, 2012 -- Dr. Edward Shanbrom, a prominent researcher and philanthropist, has died. UC Irvine honored him in 2007 by naming a research and education building (Building 55) at UC Irvine Medical Center "Edward Shanbrom M.D. Hall."   

A pioneering hematologist, Dr. Shanbrom, 87, invented a widely used process for removing viruses from blood plasma and helped develop a breakthrough treatment for hemophilia.  He died of natural causes Feb. 20 at his home in Tustin, according to a statement from his family.

Edward Shanbrom M.D. Hall was dedicated to recognize Dr. Shanbrom and his wife Helen for their longtime support of UC Irvine as well as to honor Dr. Shanbrom for his hemophilia research.

The Shanbroms also were honored in 2006 with the university's most prestigious honor, the UCI Medal.

"Dr. Shanbrom was one of our medical school's most ardent supporters. His philanthropy created outstanding laboratory facilities for our physician scientists at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, enabled specific scientific endeavors to proceed and provided our medical students with ongoing cultural opportunities to enjoy," noted Dean Ralph Clayman.

Dr. Shanbrom was Orange County’s first oncologist. “I have spent a lifetime researching blood’s therapeutic value and making it safe,” Dr. Shanbrom said when the building was named. “Helen and I hope that our support increases the ability of UC Irvine’s faculty to isolate and purify blood and blood derivatives for increased therapeutic value, because truly lifesaving therapeutic agents come from blood.”

Dr. Shanbrom received awards from the American Board of Internal Medicine, National Board of Medical Examiners, National Hemophilia Foundation, University of Buffalo, Arts Orange County and an honorary doctorate from Allegheny College.

He received his medical degree from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine (now SUNY-Buffalo). Following his fellowship at Yale University, he served as a physician, specializing in hematology, at UC Irvine Medical Center, City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, Calif.; and St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif.

The Shanbroms supported numerous efforts on campus, including the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, Dean’s Council and Friends of the Library, where Helen Shanbrom was a founding member. In memory of one of their sons, the Shanbroms created a fellowship in transportation studies. The David Lee Shanbrom Memorial Award is given to individuals with meritorious involvement in the promotion of heavy truck safety. The couple also created a music scholarship.

Obituaries for Dr. Shanbrom have appeared in several publications. including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Orange County Register.