XENIA — Helping save lives is in Dan Krane’s blood.
The Xenia resident has an AB-negative blood type, the rarest of blood types and the universal donor type for platelets and plasma. He is a regular donor at the Dayton Community Blood Center and gave platelets for his 200th lifetime donation Jan. 10. He also has several more from his time in Massachusetts where he did post-doctoral research at Harvard.
“When I started, it was the two-arm procedure,” Krane said.
Krane is among the rare 0.6 percent of people with AB-negative blood.
“I have a pretty good platelet count as well,” he said. “I do doubles (double platelet donations) all the time.”
He considers that his “donor for fife” journey truly began when he was a 10-year old boy, growing up in Cleveland, and enjoying the snow on New Year’s Day.
“I had a sledding accident and needed donations, so that motivated me,” Krane said. “I hit a tree and the sled kicked-back, struck me in the middle. I needed eight units of blood. I lost my left kidney and spleen. That’s why I have such a high platelet count. When you see very high platelet counts, the person is very often asplenic.”
Biology tells us the spleen is responsible for removing damaged platelets and therefore removal of the spleen can help to keep more platelets circulating in the body. That knowledge comes easy to Krane, who has taught biological science at Wright State since 1993.
He was elected president of the WSU Faculty Senate four times and was recently named dean of the 1,600 students at the WSU Lake Campus in Celina.
A clear passion of Krane’s that rivals even his dedication to blood donations, is his study of DNA. He is one of the world’s foremost DNA authorities and has testified as an expert witness in more than 100 criminal trials.
Since 2002, his consulting company, Forensic Bioinformatics, has reviewed hundreds of court cases from around the world and used the data to develop computer-based tools to make forensic DNA profiling more reliable and objective.
“We were the very first successful start-up company at Wright State,” he said.
Krane has been involved as an expert witness in some of the highest-profile criminal cases, including prosecutions of “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, the Washington, D.C. sniper, and O.J. Simpson.
“That was a rare case where we did work for both the defense and the prosecution,” Krane said.
As he made his 200th donation he caught up on emails about a new case in need of his expertise.
“There’s a person in the Netherlands who wants us to work on his case,” Krane said. “It was a murder. It’s been dismissed, but he wants to clear his name.”
Before completing his milestone, he got to enjoy what he considers one of the rewards of his monthly platelet donations at CBC.
“I love the time to read a book,” Krane said.