Last year, Jeff McCullough, MD, celebrated 50 years as a College of Medicine alumnus.
Originally from New Philadelphia, OH, McCullough pursued a career at The Ohio State College of Medicine but never planned to become a practicing physician. He was excited about the wide range of career possibilities in the field of medicine. “My medical school experience provided me with a great education, prepared me well for my future and provided me with a wonderful internship opportunity and residency placement,” says McCullough, a 1963 graduate and internationally renowned blood expert.
Soon after his appointment as chief resident, McCullough was assigned by his residency department chair to head the hospital’s blood bank. The opportunity led him to join the Public Health Service focused on infectious disease. This experience resulted in a lifelong career in blood banking.
During his impressive career, McCullough witnessed change in blood transfusion. Below are some of his greatest accomplishments in the field:
Co-founder and Founding President of the National Marrow Donor Program. This program identities volunteers for stem cell transplant and manages the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. Today’s donor list is comprised of 12 million volunteer donors and has facilitated over 60,000 hematopoietic stem cell transplants.
- Red Cross Medical Director of MN and National Change Agent. McCullough was appointed to lead the Red Cross in Washington, DC when blood transfusion was under scrutiny for HIV and disease transmitted transfusions. Serving as change agent to streamline blood-banking processes for every Red Cross throughout the U.S., McCullough spoke before a Congressional hearing to fundamentally change the way blood organizations function. He introduced quality control and standardized blood testing in the U.S. He served with the Red Cross of MN for more than 20 years.
- Editor-in-Chief of the journal Transfusion, the world’s major journal in transfusion medicine, for 15 years.
- American Board of Pathology. Long standing member, President from 1997-2008.
- Trained more than 60 fellows in blood banking and transfusion medicine as director of the University of Minnesota’s Transfusion Medicine Fellowship Program.
McCullough continues to use his MD to make significant contributions to the world of blood banking. “I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do when I started medical school but I have learned the possibilities are endless with an MD,” says McCullough. “There are a variety of important disciplines in medicine from public health to bio medical research and many ways to make contributions to medicine aside from practicing as a physician.”
McCullough continues to use his MD to accomplish great things. He carries his medical expertise across the globe, aiding countries such as Afghanistan and Tanzania to improve the quantity and quality of blood supply and guide, educate and advise the countries’ local physicians.