Faculty Feature Jorge Di Paola

Annie, Jose, Peter and Juan DiPaola with a good friend of the DiPaola family (true but too long of a story to explain here)

Growing up in Buenos Aires, Argentina Jorge had 2 passions that would ultimately determine the direction of his personal and professional life: 1) science, that was cultivated by his late father, a medical doctor who took him almost weekly to the Natural History Museum of Buenos Aires, which has several original South American dinosaur skeletons and even original specimens from Darwin’s trip around the region; and 2) mountaineering, which he practiced by climbing in gyms year-round and then traveling to the mountains of Patagonia in the summers to explore the beautiful landscapes of the “end of the world”.

He graduated from Medical School from the University of Buenos Aires at age 23 and decided to take a year off to work for Outward Bound in California teaching students rock climbing and outdoor navigation skills. Not only he fulfilled his dream of climbing in places like Yosemite Valley and Joshua Tree National Park but also met the love of his life, Terrie Catlow, who became his life partner for the last 30 years . They married and settled in Buenos Aires where Jorge completed his first residency in Pediatrics at the National Pediatric Hospital. In 1995 they moved back to the US with 2 backpacks and 2 babies under the age of 1, and Jorge completed a second residency and a fellowship in Pediatric Hematology Oncology at Children’s Hospital of Orange County in Orange, CA.

Terrie and Jorge in front of the newly purchased home in the Central West End

First faculty position was at the University of Iowa in 2000, where Terrie and Jorge raised their growing family of 4 children Jose, Annie, Juan and Peter (yes, alternating Hispanic and Anglo names!) and developed a love for Iowa City and the Iowa Hawkeye Football team. Life was great in Iowa at a personal and professional level for the DiPaola-Catlow family. Jorge found the 2 mentors that influenced his career enormously: Steven Lentz and Jeff Murray. In 2008 it was time to go back to the mountains and the DiPaola-Catlow spent the next 11 years in Denver, Colorado. There, Jorge built a program and team of researchers focused on hemostasis, thrombosis and vascular biology. Jorge was able to do what he loves the most, scientific discovery and training younger generations of clinicians and scientists. In January of 2019 Jorge came to give a talk to the Division of Hematology in honor of the great Evan Sadler (another influential mentor in his career) and met Gary Silverman who in a 30 minutes conversation, convinced him that it was time to take another step in his career (of course he said “first talk to Terrie”).

Now in the thriving environment of Washington University and the beautiful city of St. Louis, Terrie and Jorge started a new chapter in their lives. Jorge will lead the Division of Pediatric Hematology Oncology and BMT and continue his research in platelets and blood clotting and Terrie, a Special Education teacher and yoga aficionado will continue exploring, while enjoying their favorite things like listening to Hi Fi, biking, hiking, going to concerts and seeing their adult children often.

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