David Ginsburg

During his training in hematology and a year on the faculty at Harvard in hematology/oncology, David Ginsburg started to ask fundamental questions about how the blood clotting system works, especially how it works in humans. At Michigan, Ginsburg’s career has been distinguished in both clinical practice and basic research. As a physician, Ginsburg is board-certified in four specialties: hematology, oncology, internal medicine and clinical genetics. In his lab at the LSI, he investigates the fundamental biology and genetics of blood clotting.

Blood clotting has evolutionary roots are as far back as the advent of vertebrates. Invertebrates, by contrast, are just a pool of blood, and have no circulatory system. With evolutionary fine-tuning, the circulatory system’s clotting response—which involves the products of hundreds of genes—is carefully calibrated to be just right: too little clotting response, and even a minor injury would result in fatal bleeding, and too much clotting could produce blockages in critical blood vessels, leading to diseases such as strokes, heart attacks and lung embolisms.

As a post-doctoral fellow, Ginsburg cloned the gene for von Willebrand factor, one of the proteins that is critical to the cascade of reactions causing blood to clot, and which malfunctions in a relatively rare disorder known as von Willebrand disease. Since joining U-M in 1985, Ginsburg has identified the genes and mutations associated with many subtypes of von Willebrand disease and the specific gene mutations that bring them about. The work has scientific implications as well as impact on patients with the disease.



  • BA, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, 1974
  • MD, Duke University Medical School, 1977

Honors and Awards

  • 1999: Distinguished Faculty Lectureship, University of Michigan Medical School
  • 2000: Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, University of Michigan Medical School
  • 2000: American Society of Hematology E. Donnall Thomas Lecture and Prize
  • 2003: American Heart Association Basic Research Prize
  • 2003: Distinguished University Professorship, University of Michigan Medical School
  • 2004: American Society for Clinical Investigation ASCI Award

Memberships and Offices in Professional Societies

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