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Obituary: William A. Schumacher

April 11, 2019
by Pancras Wong, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

William Schumacher It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of William A. Schumacher, Ph.D., a long time ASPET member. Dr. Schumacher passed away on January 19, 2019.

Dr. Schumacher received his B.S. in Biology from the University of California at Irvine, and his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.  He then completed a post-doc training in the laboratory of Dr. Benedict Lucchesi at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Dr. Schumacher joined the E.R. Squibb & Sons Company in 1984 to conduct research in cardiovascular drug discovery.  During these years at E.R. Squibb & Sons and later at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Bill was a key pharmacologist to deliver 17 early clinical candidates: 3 in heart failure, 12 in thrombosis and 2 in asthma.  He also made important contributions to the development of Plavix (clopidogrel, an oral P2Y12 platelet antagonist), Eliquis (apixaban, an oral factor Xa inhibitor) and Sprycel (dasatinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor).  Plavix, Eliquis and Sprycel are highly successful blockbuster drugs, and make a significant difference for millions of patients across the globe.  Dr. Schumacher retired from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company in 2016.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Schumacher had made important and original contributions in advancing drug discovery research in thrombosis and heart failure.  He was recognized both internally and externally as an expert in cardiovascular research.  As a result of his outstanding work at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, he was awarded multiple times for his contributions to the drug discovery programs.  Externally, Dr. Schumacher was honored as a fellow of the American Heart Association. 

Dr. Schumacher had been a long time member of the American Heart Association, ASPET, and the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis. In addition to publishing over 90 peer-reviewed articles, he was a contributor to the peer-review process.

To his colleagues and co-workers, Dr. Schumacher was not just an outstanding scientist, he was also a great collaborator, a loving manager and a dear friend.  On a more personal level, he was a most exceptional and generous person.  Trustworthy, never selfish, always supportive.  The world has lost a top pharmacologist; and we have lost a best friend.  He will be greatly missed.  

For more information, please see his obituary at this link.

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Last Updated: September 21, 2018

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