ASH Announces “Bridge Funding” Recipients, CRTI in Latin America Participants

ASH Announces Recipients of the Fifth Round of Bridge Grants

Eleven new blood disease researchers have been selected as the latest recipients of the American Society of Hematology’s Bridge Grants.

These one-year, $150,000 awards are designed to provide critical interim support for hematology research proposals that, despite earning high scores, could not be funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) due to severe funding reductions. The 11 ASH Bridge Grant recipients announced in April 2015 join the list of 51 hematologists who have received funding since ASH committed $9 million in Society funds to create the program in 2012.

Over the last decade or more, funding for NIH has steadily declined. In 2013, across-the-board cuts to the NIH budget further hurt the agency’s ability to fund research proposals, leading to a decrease in available funds for hematologists conducting critical blood disease research. Despite slight gains over the last several years, the funding outlook for NIH and NIH-supported researchers remains bleak, and NIH’s ability to sustain current research capacity and encourage promising new areas of science is significantly limited. This challenging environment has led to vigorous competition for NIH research project grant (R01) awards, preventing many meritorious projects from receiving vital financial support.

In an effort to preserve hematology research amid continued budget austerity, the ASH Bridge Grant program provides supplemental funding to investigators to help them sustain their laboratories and staff in order to gather additional data and ultimately obtain an NIH grant.

“After a decade of flat funding for NIH, sequestration-related cuts, and now a great deal of uncertainty for NIH amid ongoing congressional budget negotiations, the need for bridge funding programs like ASH’s has never been greater,” said ASH President David A. Williams, MD, of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Research projects supported by ASH’s latest bridge grants span the breadth of hematology. Funded projects explore a wide range of topics, from platelet function and blood-forming stem cell self-renewal, to the association between the microbiome and Hodgkin lymphoma, to enhancing treatments for both infants and older adults with blood cancers.

The recipients are:

  • Jeffrey M. Lipton, MD, PhD, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research/Cohen Children’s Medical Center, Manhasset, New York
  • Jing-fei Dong, MD, PhD, Puget Sound Blood Center and Program, Seattle, Washington
  • Marie-Dominique Filippi, PhD, Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Matthew A. Young, PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Neil A. Goldenberg, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins University, All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine, St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Renhao Li, PhD, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Runqing Lu, PhD, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Saghi Ghaffari, MD, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
  • Sridhar Rao, MD, PhD, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Todd E. Druley, MD, PhD, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Wendy Cozen, DO, MPH, Keck School Medicine of USC, Los Angeles, California

“By supporting this promising research, ASH is helping to sustain laboratories and retain hematologists in the field. We simply cannot afford to allow these detrimental spending cuts to halt the progress of talented and passionate investigators, especially when major breakthroughs are on the horizon,” said Dr. Williams. “While ASH is committed to sustaining hematology research through the ASH Bridge Grant program, the NIH is an irreplaceable partner and must be given the resources to support the scientists seeking to develop new treatments for patients whose lives depend on biomedical innovation in this country.”

Visit to view the complete list of ASH Bridge Grant recipients. To learn more about ASH’s Bridge Grant program, visit

Trainees Collaborate with Mentors, Learn Best Practices at the 2015 ASH Clinical Research Training Institute in Latin America

ASH was proud to host 10 hematologists selected to participate in the third ASH Clinical Research Training Institute in Latin America (CRTI-LA). This education and mentorship program, held April 21-22, 2015, in Cartagena, Colombia, prior to the Society’s Highlights of ASH® meeting in Latin America, is designed to prepare current hematology and hematology/oncology fellows and junior faculty working in Latin America for careers in patient-oriented clinical research.

During the two-day program, CRTI-LA participants attended lectures and small-group breakout sessions facilitated by international experts to explore topics such as research questions, clinical trial design, biostatistics, and how to write an abstract and manuscript for publication.

Participants also worked with CRTI-LA faculty mentors and colleagues to revise plans for their own proposed clinical research projects.

The 2015 CRTI-LA participants selected by ASH were:

  • Maria Adelaida Aristizabal, MD, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia
  • Bruno Benites, MD, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), São Paulo, Brazil
  • Valeria De Freitas Dutra, MD, University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • Mylena Dratcu, MD, Medicina de São José do Rio Preto (FAMERP), São Paulo, Brazil
  • Maria Irigoin, MD, Hospital de Clínicas, Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Livia Caroline Barbosa Mariano, MD, University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • Victoria Otero, MD, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Maria Victoria Remedi, MD, Maciel Hospital, Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Glaciano Nogueira Ribeiro, MD, Minas Gerais Federal University, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • Natalia Schütz, MD, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Argentina