ASH Announces Partnership to Foster Genomic Research, The Hematologist Debuts Two New Departments, and more

ASH Programs Promoting Advocacy and Translational Research Now Accepting Nominations

Advocacy Leadership Institute

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) is now accepting nominations for its eighth annual Advocacy Leadership Institute in Washington, DC. The two-day workshop, being held September 24-25, is an opportunity for ASH members to learn about legislation and health policy affecting hematology research and practice. The first day of the workshop will feature training in the policy-making process and advocacy. On the second day, participants will visit their congressional delegation on Capitol Hill. Nominations will be accepted through June 1. Self-nominations are welcome, and individuals may nominate more than one colleague. To submit a nomination or to learn more about this opportunity, visit hematology.org/ALI.

Translational Research Training in Hematology

A joint effort between ASH and the European Hematology Association, Translational Research Training in Hematology is a rigorous, year-long training and mentoring experience that helps junior researchers build successful careers. Under the guidance of faculty who are international leaders in hematology, 20 early-career scientists (10 from North America and 10 from Europe) learn the fundamental principles related to translational research. Medical, biomedical, and pharmaceutical trainees who are actively employed in a hematology-related research environment are encouraged to apply, as are fellows or junior faculty who have completed their fellowship training within the past three years. The deadline to submit letters of intent is July 21. Visit hematology.org/TRTH for more information.


ASH Announces Partnership to Foster Genomic Research

ASH will partner with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen) grantee, to develop a broad and accessible collection of genomic data aimed at improving the diagnosis of some blood cancers and disorders.

In partnership with UNC School of Medicine researchers, ASH is supporting two expert review panels that will analyze the clinical significance of variants and mutations associated with myeloid malignancies and platelet disorders, with the goal of aiding in their interpretation on diagnostic genetic tests. The results of this effort will be shared with the scientific community through ClinVar, a publicly available NIH database that houses data on genetic mutations submitted by laboratories nationwide.

ASH’s participation in the effort is part of a larger Precision Medicine Initiative that the Society undertook to improve genomic profiling of hematologic diseases and identify strategies to improve the use of molecular data in clinical care, research, and education.


The Hematologist Debuts Two New Departments

The May/June issue of The Hematologist features two new departments conceived of by Editor-in-Chief Laura Michaelis, MD, that are sure to spark ideas and conversation.

“No-data Zone” explores commonly encountered clinical situations that lack adequate research for making data-driven decisions. In the first installment, Donald Arnold, MD, MPH, and Amaris Balitsky, MD, discuss the use of anticoagulation in patients with thrombocytopenia. In “Off the Shelf,” readers recommend non-medical literature, including books, essays, and poetry. The goal of the new column is to “carve out some space for readers to reflect on what calls us to the practices of science and medicine and on what makes work sustainable and enjoyable,” said Dr. Michaelis in her May/June editorial. She pens the first installment about a book that shaped her approach to hematology practice.

Both columns are available at hematology.org/thehematologist.


ASH Bridge Grant Program Continues to Advance Pioneering Research

On April 16, ASH announced the names of the 15 investigators who have each been awarded $150,000 through the ASH Bridge Grant Program. The ASH Bridge Grants are designed to serve as a one-year bridge for researchers facing gaps in multi-year funding, giving them financial support to continue their studies and strengthen their grant applications without the need to pare down laboratory staff or to pause or end their work.

Encompassing a host of basic, translational, and clinical hematology research, projects funded in this 10th round of the ASH Bridge Grant Program include work that will advance the understanding of risk factors of blood diseases such as acute myeloid leukemia and sickle cell disease.

The announcement coincides with the publication of a Blood Advances editorial by Janis L. Abkowitz, MD, and Robert Hromas, MD, who were influential in founding the program. The authors review the successes of the Bridge Grants program (ASH has awarded nearly $14 million in Bridge Grant support to 107 investigators since its inception in 2013) and call on other medical organizations to implement similar programs in the absence of stable federal support. The 10th-round ASH Bridge Grant recipients are:

Mohammed Azam, PhD
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati, OH

Sung Won Choi, MD
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 

Adrienne Dorrance, PhD
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH    

Zhijun Duan, PhD
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 

Sandra Haberichter, PhD
BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Inc.
Milwaukee, WI  

Peter Klein, MD, PhD
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 

Gary Kupfer, MD
Yale University
New Haven, CT  

Dougald Monroe, PhD
University of California
Chapel Hill, NC

Gerald Morris, MD, PhD
University of California
La Jolla, CA          

Eric Mullins, MD
Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation
Cincinnati, OH 

Ulhas Naik, PhD
Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia, PA

Perumal Thiagarajan, MD
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX

Cecelia Valrie, PhD
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA    

Francisco Vega, MD, PhD
University of Miami
Miami, FL

Nancy Zeleznik-Le, PhD
Loyola University Chicago
Chicago, IL


2017 Annual Report: A Year of Growth and Innovation

The American Society of Hematology’s 2017 Annual Report is now available online.

Last year, the Society took the lead on a number of initiatives to better serve its members and the hematology community at large, including the development of a patient registry to facilitate the sharing of research-grade data, new guidelines to support the Society’s quality improvement efforts, and an educational roadmap to help hematology education reach new heights.

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