Dr Eliezer Rachmilewitz
Hematology Department Edith Wolfson Medical Center Holon, Israel
Prof. Eliezer Rachmilewitz was born in Jerusalem. His father, Prof. Moshe Rachmilewitz was one of the founders of modern medicine in the State of Israel.
Prof. Rachmilewitz received all his medical education in Israel and was the Head of the Hematology department in Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem for 20 years. From 2000 to 2012, he was the Head of the Hematology department in Wolfson Hospital in Holon. He is continuing to work as a consultant in Wolfson Hospital and in Assuta Medical Center. He is also an adjunct professor of Medicine in New York Cornell University Presbyterian Hospital.
In 2013, he was appointed as the head of medical policy division in the Israeli Medical Association.
During this period of time, Prof. Rachmilewitz was very active in the local as well as in the international medical community. His reputation all over the world brought into practice new therapeutic treatments to the State of Israel. Numerous patients from all over Israel and neighboring countries seeking advanced medical care have sought his consultation.
Prof. Rachmilewitz has excelled not only in patient care but has also matured a new generation of young hematologists who are at the forefront of the hematological community in nearly every hospital in Israel and abroad, from the Palestinian Authority to Ethiopia and in the United States.
He has 301 publications and 3 papers in preparation.
His main area of research evolves around the pathophysiology of thalassemia, a disease which is highly prevalent in the Middle East and South East Asia. He and his colleagues described for the first time the presence of non transferrin bound iron (NTBI) in thalassemia which is recognized as a catalyst in the formation of oxygen free radicals and generating increased oxidative stress.
He initiated the first study that showed low hepcidin levels in thalassemic mice that explained their increased iron absorption.
Another new finding is on decrease in the levels of Hemopexin, a protein that binds excess of heme in multitransfused patients with thalassemia.
Another area that he was one of the first to explore is Hypercoagulable State in Hemoglobinopathies. His first review on this topic was published in Blood together with his late colleague Dr. Amiram Eldor in 2002! He has been involved in the study of multiple asymptomatic ischemic lesions in the brain of patients with thalassemia.
His most recent work is the finding of increased level of Heparanase, a procoagulant enzyme, in multitransfused patients with thalassemia.
In September 2005 he published a progress report on thalassemia in the New England Journal of Medicine, and in 2011 on “How I Treat Thalassemia” in Blood.
He is considered as one of the world experts in this disease and is invited all over the world to present the results of his work.
As an extension of studies in thalassemia, he recently became interested in the role of oxidative stress in congenital and acquired hemolytic anemias and particularly in iron overload in Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), which is a relatively new area. One of his recent reviews on the impact of iron overload in low risk myelodysplastic syndrome was published in Blood in 2014.
Consequently, he is studying how the potential risks of oxidative damage on transformation to Leukemia and whether it can be prevented by iron chelators and/or antioxidants.
One of his recent studies is to measure iron deposition by T2* MRI in patients undergoing dialysis who receive a lot of iron, which is deposited in major organs. A review on this subject has appeared in Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation.
He is one of the most prominent physicians in Israel and one of the 3 official physicians of the Prime Minister.
He was a host of a popular weekly television program on Health issues, where he interviewed experts from all fields of medicine for more than 10 years.
He was a co-chairman of an international meeting on controversies in Hematology. The first meeting was in Rome in 2010, the second was in Barcelona in 2012, and the 3rd one took place in Istanbul in 2014.
He is married for the second time to Tova, who is an artist, a father of 3 children and 11 grand-children.