Dr. Charles R. Drew received a doctor of medical science degree from P&S in 1940. He was the first African-American to earn this degree in the United States. His dissertation was based on research on the properties and preservation of blood plasma in a blood bank that he and Dr. John Scudder established at Presbyterian Hospital.
Dr. Drew was regarded as an authority on the preservation of human blood for transfusion. His research at Columbia enabled him to develop efficient ways to process and store large quantities of blood plasma. As the leading authority in the field, he organized and directed the blood-plasma programs of the United States and Great Britain in the early years of World War II. The Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Sciences in Los Angeles is named for him.
The National Library of Medicine has added Charles Drew, MD, MSD (1904–1950), to its online exhibit series, Profiles in Science. In addition to biographical information, the exhibit includes digitized versions of select documents and photos from the Charles Drew Papers at Howard University.