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Several pictures of doctors who are featured on the Local Legends web site

MEET LOCAL LEGEND: Clara D. Bloomfield, M.D.

Picture of Clara D. Bloomfield
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Clara D. Bloomfield, M.D.

“When I was five or six, I told my Mom I had decided I wanted to be a doctor, and she said, “Go for it!””


Deborah Pryce

Patrick J. Tiberi


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Clara Bloomfield is one of the pioneering female physicians of her generation, advancing the role of women in medicine by active mentorship, by serving as a role model, and by her strong leadership in many local, national and international positions of responsibility.

A Summa cum laude graduate of San Diego State College who received her M.D. degree from the University of Chicago, Bloomfield is an internationally recognized physician— scientist whose three decades of groundbreaking research on adult leukemia and lymphoma have changed the way these patients are treated. As a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, she has compiled a distinguished record of research and clinical care.

Bloomfield was among the first to prove that elderly patients suffering from acute leukemia long believed to be fatal could be cured through chemotherapy. She also demonstrated that patients with certain types of leukemia required stem cell transplantation for cure, while others could be treated successfully without undergoing such intense intervention. The American Cancer Society's Ohio Division acknowledged her advancements in cancer research by bestowing her with its 2003 John P. Minton Hero of Hope Research Champion Award.

In nominating Bloomfield as a Local Legend, Representative Deborah Pryce [R–OH–15] and Representative Patrick J. Tiberi [R–OH–12] noted her pioneering achievements and praised her especially for “working continuously to give women scientists opportunities and recognition, ensuring their appointment to important committees and leadership roles in major national oncology societies and editorial boards of the prestigious scientific journals.”

In addition to direct mentoring and leading by example, she has been instrumental in enhancing university policy guidelines on equal employment and other issues for women faculty at the University of Minnesota, where she trained in oncology, SUNY Buffalo and Ohio State, where, in 1997, she became Director of the Comprehensive Care Center. During her six–year tenure of the center, she led the most significant areas of expansion in the cancer program's history, recruiting more than 80 cancer investigators with interests in basic, clinical, translational and population–based cancer research to OSU.

In 2003, Bloomfield returned to her primary passion—research to increase the cure rate of leukemia patients. To allow her to do this, OSU created a new Cancer Scholars Program, appointing her the charter member and senior advisor to the OSU Cancer Program. As a result of her accomplishments as a physician, she has been listed as one of the “Outstanding Medical Specialists in the US” and one of the “Best Doctors in America.”

She has long worked to advance women in academic medicine, personally mentoring more than 20 women who currently are professors and in senior leadership positions at universities around the country. She is one of the few role models of a female academic physician leader and administrator who also is recognized as an outstanding scientist. The author of more than 650 research publications, Bloomfield has directed or supervised numerous national boards and committees that define the direction and quality of cancer research.



Attains rank of full Professor of Medicine, Division of Oncology, University of Minnesota, the first woman to achieve that position


Becomes Professor of Medicine and Chief, Division of Oncology at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Chair, Department of Medicine, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, one of the very few female department chairs in the country


Assumes directorship of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, the third woman to lead such a National Cancer Institute–designated center




University of Chicago


Internal Medicine

Sub Specialty

Medical Oncology