Farewell to Dr. Sam Charache

*pictured at the dedication ceremony of the Patricia Charache, MD Conference Room in 2017 in honor of his wife

Dr. Samuel Charache passed away at the age of 89 on Tuesday, January 29. His legacy is part of the fabric of Johns Hopkins and the field of hematology at large.

Sam joined the faculty at Hopkins in 1966 and became director of the hematology laboratory of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1979. While he contributed a great deal through his research and patient care during his tenure, he is best known for being the first author of the pivotal New England Journal of Medicine article that demonstrated that hydroxyurea, a common cancer drug, could decrease the frequency of pain crises in sickle cell patients. This paper, published in 1995, and his work with Dr. George Dover (left in the below photo), former director of pediatrics, proved to be a revolutionary step in alleviating excruciatingly painful sickle cell crises for countless patients.

Outside of his research, he was a notable colleague and mentor in the departments of medicine and pathology along with his wife Dr. Patricia Charache, who passed away in 2015. He is survived by their daughter Barbara and granddaughter Deborah.

In lieu of flowers, his family has asked that donations be made in Sam’s memory to Doctors without Borders or the Patricia Charache Clinical Microbiology Fund in the Johns Hopkins Department of Pathology.