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Library Recognizes Longtime Faculty Member for Rare Book Donations

July 06, 2018

Mordecai Blaustein, MD with Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA

Mordecai Blaustein Has Given Historical Medical Books From His Collection to the Library For More Than Two Decades

On June 21, the Health Sciences and Human Services Library at the University of Maryland, Baltimore presented Mordecai Blaustein, MD, University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) professor and past chair of physiology, and his wife Ellen with the Theodore E. Woodward Award to commemorate their support of the library. Over the past three decades they have donated several important historical books to the library from their collection.

The Woodward Award, established in 1995, recognizes significant contributions to the Health Sciences and Human Services Library. Past recipients have included Dr. Charlotte Ferencz, Larry Pitrof, and Dr. Joseph Lakowicz, and Richard J. Behles. Theodore E. “Ted” Woodward (1914-2005) was a professor and chairman of the Department of Medicine at UMSOM. He was an internationally renowned epidemiologist whose research laid the groundwork for the modern treatment of numerous infectious diseases.  As a teacher at UMSOM, he helped train thousands of physicians during his long and illustrious career. He had a broad influence and was awarded many medals and commendations.

“Dr. and Mrs. Blaustein richly deserve this award,” said M.J. Tooey, executive director of the library. “For many years they have been enthusiastic supporters of the library, meeting current needs of the UMB community while honoring and preserving the past.”

A lifelong supporter of the Health Sciences and Human Services Library, Dr. Woodward tirelessly advocated for the library’s resources and services. He established an endowment for the library to support its programs. When the new library opened in 1998, a space was created in the historical suite to house his bookcase and the suite was named the “Woodward Historical and Special Collections.” He was the first recipient of the Woodward Award.

Dr. Blaustein's wife, Ellen Blaustein, with Dr. Blaustein and M.J. Tooey, the executive director of the HSHSLDr. Blaustein is best known for his discovery of a calcium transporter (sodium-calcium exchanger) and the co-discovery of a new steroid hormone called ouabain, a link between salt and increased blood pressure. While working in England as a young investigator, he began collecting antiquarian books, influenced by his father’s vocation as a bookseller and publisher, and avocation as a book collector.

“We are delighted that these books, which have given us so much pleasure over the years, can now be explored and used by others too,” said Dr. Blaustein. “These seminal works are beautifully illustrated and deserve to be widely seen and read.”

Among the books that Dr. Blaustein and his wife have donated over the years are: An Account of the Foxglove and some of its Medical Uses… by William Withering, from 1785, De L’Electrisation Localisee… by G.B. Duchenne, 1861, and Reports of Medical Cases … by Richard Bright, 1827 and 1831.

Many members of the Blaustein family attended the event, as did many of their friends and colleagues.

“Dr. Blaustein and his wife exemplify what our school represents,” said University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, who is also University Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor. “Their generosity will help our great library ascend to a new level of excellence.” Dr. Reece also attended the event.

Tara Wink, HSHSL historical collection librarian, talks to Dean Reece and Dr. Blaustein about an 18th-century
copy of William Withering’s “An Account of the Foxgove and Some of its Medical Uses”.

Dr. Blaustein addressing the audience.

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Commemorating its 210th Anniversary, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 43 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished recipient of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research.  With an operating budget of more than $1 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically-based care for more than 1.2 million patients each year. The School has over 2,500 students, residents, and fellows, and nearly $450 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total workforce of nearly 7,000 individuals. The combined School and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of nearly $6 billion and an economic impact in excess of $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8th-highest public medical school in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine, with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit


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