Paul Steven Swerdlow, M.D., age 69, of Farmington Hills, Michigan, passed away on Sunday, April 11, 2021. Paul was a tenured professor of medicine, hematology/oncology and pediatrics, at Wayne State University School of Medicine. He was a dedicated member of the medical staff at the Karmanos Cancer Institute and several DMC facilities including Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Receiving Hospital, Harper Hospital, Hutzel Hospital, Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, and Sinai-Grace Hospital.

Throughout his career, Paul's focus was on compassionately treating sickle cell disease patients and advancing research to improve their pain management and quality of life.  

Paul is survived by his family, who will miss him terribly, including his beloved wife, Carolyn; daughter Julie, whom he adored, and her partner Seth Racine; a close-knit group of siblings and their spouses - Irene and Daniel Swerdlow-Freed, Robert and Victoria Swerdlow, and John Swerdlow and Pamela Harnick - and eight nieces and nephews. 

Paul was born in 1951 in Brooklyn, New York to Albert and Bertha Swerdlow and grew up in Oak Park, Michigan. He received a B.S. in Life Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology. He met Carol while he was at MIT and she was at Simmons College, and they married in 1975.

Paul received his medical training at the University of Michigan, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Boston Children's Hospital. In 1985, he accepted an appointment as assistant professor of medicine at the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University. Ten years later, his family moved to Michigan, where he became an associate professor at Wayne State University (WSU) and led the university's sickle cell program.

At WSU, Paul pursued and published his research in sickle cell disease, and chaired and served on numerous university, hospital, and professional committees and research review boards. He served as the interim division chief of hematology/oncology at WSU in the early 2000s. Paul especially enjoyed training medical students, residents, and fellows and received numerous awards for his commitment to teaching.

Paul loved taking snorkeling trips with his family, reading science fiction books (sometimes in Spanish), and enjoying good food and drink. He regularly practiced Bikram yoga, an activity he shared with his daughter Julie. Paul will always be remembered for his intelligence, deep kindness, and ready laughter.  

Donations in Paul's honor can be made to the following organizations: Sickle Cell Disease Association of America - Michigan Chapter: and American Society of Hematology Sickle Cell Disease Initiative Fund:

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