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Vanderbilt mourns loss of former Hematology leader Krantz

Apr. 18, 2023, 1:57 PM

Sanford Krantz, MD

Sanford Krantz, MD, internationally recognized authority on hematology and erythropoietin and professor of Medicine, Emeritus, died April 13 at his home. He was 89.

Dr. Krantz received his bachelor’s degree and medical degree from the University of Chicago and began his professional career at the University of Chicago Hospitals, followed by a fellowship with the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and two years at the National Institutes of Health.

He joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 1970 as an associate professor and chief of the hematology section at the Veterans Administration Hospital. He devoted the last 33 years of his career as chief of Hematology at the Veterans Administration Medical Center and 24 years as director of the Hematology Section at Vanderbilt.

Dr. Krantz has more than 200 publications, was a member of many professional societies, and received numerous awards and honors throughout his career. He was recognized by election into The American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians and was presented in 1998 with the Founders Medical Award by the Southern Society of Clinical Investigation.

In addition to successfully competing for an NIH R01 grant for 31 years, a VA Merit Review Research Grant continuously for 33 years, and an NIH Training Grant for over 25 years, Dr. Krantz was awarded an Ortho-Biotech Corporation Research Hematology Fellowship which was used to support the training of young physicians specializing in hematology.

Among his research accomplishments are the discovery of pathogenesis of pure red cell aplasia as an autoimmune disease with treatment with immunosuppressive drugs, the successful trials of erythropoietin in renal disease and the anemia of chronic disease, rheumatoid arthritis. The description of the anemia of chronic disease as an immune disease due to reaction to foreign proteins with the liberation of inhibitory cytokines is well recognized.

Dr. Krantz is survived by his wife of 64 years, Sandra Rae Krantz, of Nashville; his daughter Sarah Krantz Derks (Thomas Teller) of Overland Park, Kansas; his sons Michael Krantz (Diana) of Richardson, Texas; and Alan Krantz of Nashville; his sister Corinne Plotkin (Bernie) of Milwaukee; two grandsons and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Marcy Sharon Krantz Glisczinski.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Sanford B. and Sandra R. Krantz College Scholarship Fund at the University of Chicago. Mail to: Gift Administration and Business Data, 5235 S. Harper Court, 4th Floor, Chicago, IL, 60615 or visit

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. (central time), Monday, May 1, at Congregation Micah, 2001 Old Hickory Blvd, Brentwood, Tennessee, followed by Shiva at the family home. Marshall-Donnelly-Combs Funeral Home (615) 327-1111. To view the service online, visit

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