Jump to Main Content


Maxwell M. Wintrobe (1901-1986)

Maxwell Wintrobe, MD

Maxwell M. Wintrobe, MD, became a hematologist before the discipline of hematology existed. In 1925, he received his medical degree from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, where he graduated first in the class. Following his internship and a medical-biochemistry fellowship at the University of Manitoba, he accepted a faculty position at the medical school at Tulane University in New Orleans. At the time, Chief of Medicine John Musser, Jr., MD, was an editor of the Tice Practice of Medicine. He asked Dr. Wintrobe to write the section on "Diseases of the Blood." This request set the stage for Dr. Wintrobe to enter an extremely productive research career in hematology.

While at Tulane, he developed the now-famous Wintrobe Hematocrit Tube. Dr. Wintrobe realized that there were no published, reliable, normal blood values to use in clinical practice. He was the first to document statistically normal values in adults and children. An important part of this effort was the derivation of the red blood cell indices that remain in wide use.