2008: Denise Harmening

Karen Tiergerman Memorial Lectureship


Denise Harmening, PhD, MT(ASCP), CLS(NCA)

Dr. Denise Harmening is a Professor in the Department of Medical & Research Technology at University of Maryland School of Medicine. She is the founding chair of two departments, Clinical Laboratory Sciences at Thomas Jefferson University and the Department of Medical and Research Technology at University of Maryland Baltimore. She was one of the first female chairs to be hired at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) in 1990. Dr. Harmening has been in the field of Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine for over 25 years. Her research in red cell and platelet preservation has led to seven patents.

Dr. Harmening served as the Director of Educational Services in the U.S. for the American Association of Blood Banks from 1982-1984. She has been the principle investigator for seven grants from Health and Human Services and has completed over 15 clinical trials. Her book, Modern Blood Banking and Transfusion Practices is in its fifth edition and is a recommended reference by professional societies and is used nationally as well as internationally.

In addition, she is the author of two other widely used books, Clinical Hematology and Fundamentals of Hemostasis, and Laboratory Management Principles and Processes. Dr. Harmening's original research dealt with the use of solid time-released buffering systems for the storage of red cells and platelets. She has presented her studies on platelet storage both nationally and internationally. Dr. Harmening also performed the original testing on the current gel system when it was initially brought from Europe to the United States by AMTEC Corporation.

Her current research focuses on CD34+ stem cells isolated from cord blood, and she was the first to investigate the effect of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 on untreated and CD34 positive stem cells selected from umbilical cord blood in 1995. Dr. Harmening is currently evaluating a proprietary cell drying technology for the HeMemics Corporation and has served as a consultant on investigations of a new technology based on Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) for routine blood bank ABO testing. In 1999 she received the "Excellence in Education Award," a national recognition given by the American Society for Clinical Pathology. Locally, she was named one of Maryland's Top 100 Women for the years 2001 and 2003. She is married and lives in Crofton, Maryland.