Harvey J. Kliman has, in addition to an M.D., a Ph.D. in cellular biochemistry from the University of Chicago. He is currently a Research Scientist in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine and the Director of the Reproductive and Placental Research Unit with a special interest in infertility and pregnancy complications. He has over thirty years of anatomic pathology training with particular emphasis in electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry, endometrial and placental pathology. He has over ten patents, including the patent for the Endometrial Function Test® (EFT®)—“The soil test for the endometrium®” and “Method and system for determining placental volume.” His contributions in the field of placental research include the development of the “Kliman” method of trophoblast purification, research into the mechanisms of trophoblast differentiation and invasion, the role and genesis of syncytial knots, the discovery of placental fetal fibronectin, and more recently, the clinical utility of abnormalities in placental villous growth patterns, especially trophoblast invaginations and inclusions, to diagnose genetic abnormalities in pregnancy, including autism.
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Lincoln W. Kliman Memorial Fund
The Lincoln W. Kliman Memorial Fund supports research into the causes and potential cures of sarcomas and other cancers.
The Merwin Kliman Memorial Fund
The Merwin Kliman Memorial Fund supports research to prevent stillbirth.
The most notable achievement of Mr. Kliman, a Master of Electrical Engineering, was pioneering the use of computers to design computers of very small size. The ability to create computers with very compressed dimensions attracted the attention of a number of cutting-edge companies, including NASA and JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratories). When Pioneer 11 flew by Jupiter it recorded radiation levels far higher than had been anticipated. This had a direct impact on the Voyager missions because JPL realized that the current Voyager computer design would have been destroyed when it flew by Jupiter. The mission was in jeopardy because JPL needed to significantly increase the shielding around the computer, drastically reducing its size. Kliman proposed a novel solution: put components on both sides of the mother board. “Can that be done?” the engineers at JPL asked. Kliman said, “yes,” and his idea saved the Voyager missions.
Merwin Kliman started working on the computer system for the Voyager project in 1973, culminating in the launch of Voyager 1 on September 5, 1977. His signature is on each of the computer boards in the Voyagers, two computers that will likely outlive our solar system.
Although his work with NASA and JPL ended in 1995, Kliman’s passion for math led him to a second career as a math teacher, first at Nassau Community College and then Hofstra University. While he remained passionate about the planets and outer space for the remainder of his life, his attentions were redirected to inner space. After being peppered with math problems by his father his whole life, his oldest son Harvey—a physician scientist at the Yale School of Medicine—asked Kliman to solve a math problem for him concerning placental volume: generate an equation to calculate the volume of a placenta from a 2-dimensional ultrasound cross section. This equation forms the basis of the Estimated Placental Volume (EPV) method—which father and son coauthored—to detect very small placentas, the number one cause of stillbirth.
National Institutes of Health
A part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIH is the largest biomedical research agency in the world. Thanks in large part to NIH-funded medical research, Americans today are living longer and healthier. Life expectancy in the United States has jumped from 47 years in 1900 to 78 years as reported in 2009, and disability in people over age 65 has dropped dramatically in the past 3 decades. In recent years, nationwide rates of new diagnoses and deaths from all cancers combined have fallen significantly.
Sterling Professor of Immunobiology and Professor of Dermatology and of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases); Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Goizueta Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology and of Chemical Engineering, Head of Jonathan Edwards College; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health; Department Chair, Biomedical Engineering
Anita O'Keeffe Young Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; Chair, Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences; Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale-New Haven Hospital