Published: 11-03-2024 13:34 | Updated: 18-03-2024 13:12

In memory of Professor Margareta Blombäck, 1925-2024

Professor Margareta Blombäck passed away peacefully on March 7 2024 at the age of 98 Photo: Charlotte Broms

Professor Margareta (Meta) Blombäck, one of the pioneers in the field of hemostasis and thrombosis, passed away peacefully on March 7th , 2024 in Stockholm.


Margareta Blombäck was born in Stockholm, Sweden on October 1st 1925, and studied medicine at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital in Solna. She was a research assistant, a teaching assistant and an associate professor at Karolinska Institutet during period 1954–1968. She received her PhD on a thesis on blood coagulation at the Karolinska Institute, in 1958 in the laboratory and under supervision of Professor Erik Jorpes famous for his work on purification of heparin. She got a medical license and became a practicing physician in 1968.  In 1969 she became head of the coagulation laboratory at Karolinska Hospital. Between 1986 and 1992, she was a professor on coagulation research at the Karolinska Institutet. She has been an emerita since 1992 and actively working to practically last months of her life (her most recent, out of more than 350 articles, was published in January 2024). She was also active within the International Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis (ISTH) being chair of Standardization and Scientific Committee (SSC) during period 1990-1992.

Margareta Blombäck's research about blood coagulation was primarily focusing on the bleeding disorders (hemophilia and von Willebrand’s disease). Together with her husband Birger Blombäck, she, already in the 1950s, purified fibrinogen and also Factor VIII which are missing in patients with the hemophilia A. Margareta and Birger Blombäck, together with Inga Marie Nilsson were also able to identify the protein that is missing in people with von Willebrand's disease, a discovery that led to patients being able to receive better and earlier treatment. 

Together with Birger Blombäck, she was awarded the Fernström Prize in 2002 "for her theoretical and practical contributions to the treatment of hemophilia". She received the Harold R Roberts medal of ISTH in 2007 and Karolinska Institute's big silver medal in 2010.

Margareta Blombäck was also active in teaching, she wrote and edited the textbook Coagulation News (which had several Swedish editions from 1997-2006). The book was later replaced with the English version: Essential Guide to Blood Coagulation with two editions in 2010 and 2013. She was a main- or co-supervisor to many PhD students.

We, who had a privilege to be her students and later even worked with her can witness about her intelligence, scientific thinking, and curiosity even in her high age. Her pedagogy skills made her an inspiring and easy-to-follow teacher. But not less important on the personal level she was warm, generous, friendly person who was not only liked but even loved by her coworkers, students and patients. 

Meta we will miss you a lot! 

Jovan Antovic and Maria Magnusson 
On behalf of friends, colleagues and researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital