Cohn -de Laval Award

The Cohn de Laval Award is the WAA’s most prestigious award, designed to recognize individuals who have made major contributions to the discipline of apheresis.  Usually one award is given every two years.  The award, a bronze-cast engraved medal, is presented at the International Congress of the World Apheresis Association by the WAA President.  Those awarded are invited to present a special lecture at the Congress.

The Cohn de Laval Award is named for two extraordinary pioneers of science whose ingenuity, discoveries and inventions were foundational to the evolution of the modern-day practice of apheresis science and medicine. The award is presented at each Congress in recognition of outstanding service and significant scientific contributions to the discipline of apheresis.

Dr. Edwin Joseph Cohn

Dr. Cohn, an American biochemist, became famous for his work at Harvard Medical School on blood fractionation during World War II. He worked out the techniques for isolating the serum albumin fraction of blood plasma, which is essential for maintaining the osmotic pressure in the blood vessels, preventing their collapse. Transfusions with purified albumin on the battlefield rescued thousands of soldiers from shock.

After the war, Cohn worked to develop systems by which every component of donated blood would be used, so that nothing would be wasted.

Dr. Karl Gustaf Patrik de Laval

Dr. de Laval, a Swedish engineer, invented the earliest continuous flow centrifugation device in 1877. Although Dr. de Laval’s initial device was a hand-cranked cream separator, he developed several types. Their success established the centrifugal separator as a useful device in a variety of applications, including the separation of impurities in the petroleum industry, the separation of uranium isotopes in nuclear fuels, and in the design of early apheresis machines.

Dr. de Laval was elected to the Swedish Parliament in 1888 and later became a member of the senate.


Eligible individuals are those who have made significant scientific contributions to the discipline of apheresis or who have given outstanding service to the WAA or the discipline of apheresis.  The candidates may be practicing or retired but must be available to accept this award at the biennial International Congress.


Candidates may be nominated by any member society or by an active individual member and two seconders of a participant WAA member society.  Nominations must involve a fully completed nomination form, updated curriculum vitae of the nominee, and a nominating letter from the president of the society or from the individual nominator and seconders.  Nominations must be completed within one year of the expected date of presentation.


A list of all nominees will be submitted to each member society for selection six months prior to the date of the Congress.  The awards committee chairman will be appointed by the President of the WAA.  The Awards Committee Chair will collate the results of the votes from the member societies to identify the successful candidate and notify the WAA President.  The selection process must involve a majority of at least 2/3 of the selection committee members.

Past Recipients

Dr. Loic Guillevan was the recipient of the Cohn de Laval Award for 2022.  Dr. Guillevin has had a long and important role in the WAA and in the Société Française d’Hémaphérèse (SFH) and previously organized one of the joint WAA/SFH meetings, which was most successful.  The Cohn de Laval Award was presented to Dr. Guillevin by the President of the WAA, Dr. Fevzi Altuntas, and the President of the European Society for Hemapheresis (ESFH), Dr. Miquel Lozano.

Before Dr. Guillevin’s hospital retirement, he was the head of Service de Médecine Interne at Hôpital Cochin, Paris, France.  He was one of the members of the Board of Trustees of the Assistance Publique–Hôpitaux de Paris and a member of the Medical Council of the University of Paris Descartes. He also sat on several research councils, as a member or president, and was responsible for funding clinical research projects in France. He is currently an Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University Paris Descartes and a Member of the French Académie Nationale de Médecine.

Dr. Guillevin is still professionally active maintaining a daily outpatient clinic. He participates in prospective trials on autoimmune diseases and advises younger colleagues on how to set up and organize clinical trials. In addition, he edits national and international books and medical journals.

2022Dr. Loic GuillevanFrance
2016Dr Paul HockerAustria
2014Dr. J. HesterUSA
2012Dr Bernd StegmayerSweden
2004Profesor Akira YamamotoJapan
2002Dr. Gail RockCanada
2000Dr. Alvaro PinedaUSA
1996Dr. Harvey G. KleinUSA
1994Dr. Emil FreireichUSA
1992Dr. Zennya Yamazaki and Dr. Kohki IdeJapan
1990Professor William Koliff and Dr. Isaac DjerassiUSA

* No awards were given for 1998, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2020.

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