2014 Distinguished Scientist – Charles T. Esmon, PhD, FAHA
Dr. Esmon is a member of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation where he holds the Lloyd Noble Chair in Cardiovascular Research and is head of the Coagulation Biology Laboratory. He also holds adjunct faculty positions at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator from 1988 until 2013, when he retired from the Institute. He has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 2002.
Dr. Esmon’s research involves the protein C anticoagulant pathway and the impact of its perturbations on the acute inflammatory response such as occurs in severe sepsis. With Dr. Fletcher Taylor, he was the first to show that activated protein C could prevent and treat a normally lethal septic response in animals. He and Dr. Whyte Owen were the first to identify thrombomodulin and subsequent work from their laboratories led to the isolation and characterization of thrombomodulin. With Dr. Kenji Fukudome, Dr. Esmon identified, cloned and characterized the endothelial cell protein C receptor that serves as a cofactor for thrombomodulin mediated protein C activation. His laboratory has since identified histones as major mediators of sepsis, and activated protein C as a critical regulator of the septic response.
In 2013 Dr. Esmon received the Robert J. and Claire Pasarow Foundation Award in Cardiovascular Research and the ISTH Robert P Grant Medal. Past honors include the E Donnal Thomas Lectureship & Prize (ASH), Established Investigator Award (AHA), MERIT Award (NHLBI), Distinguished Career Award for Contributions to Hemostasis (ISTH), and Edwin Cohn Lecturer, Harvard. He has served on numerous NHLBI advisory councils and is the inventor of several patents which have been licensed and are in development by U.S. companies for diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases and blood clots. He is an author of over 400 scientific publications.