ASH Names New Editor-in-Chief of ASH Clinical News, Announces Donation of NGS Equipment to Low- and Middle-Income Countries, and more

Aaron T. Gerds, MD

ASH Names New Editor-in-Chief of ASH Clinical News

ASH Clinical News is excited to announce the selection of its next editor-in-chief, Aaron T. Gerds, MD, who takes the helm with this issue. Dr. Gerds is deputy director for clinical research at Cleveland Clinic and associate professor at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He has served in a variety of communications and publications leadership roles at ASH, including as senior executive editor of the 8th edition of the ASH Self-Assessment Program (SAP), associate editor of the 7th edition of the ASH-SAP, and editor-in-chief of ASH News Daily, the official daily newspaper of the ASH Annual Meeting, in 2016. Given his new role as ASH Clinical News editor-in-chief, Dr. Gerds stepped down as chair of the ASH Committee on Communications and executive editor of the 8th edition of ASH-SAP at the end of 2020.

Learn more about the ASH Clinical News editorial board at ashclinicalnews.org/about-us.


Now Accepting Applications: ASH Congressional Fellowship Program

Through January 29, 2021, ASH is accepting applications for the Congressional Fellowship Program. This yearlong opportunity, available for one ASH member starting in September 2021, will place a hematologist on Capitol Hill to work in a Congressional office and help shape health care and hematology policy.

Read first-hand accounts of the experiences of past ASH Congressional Fellows in ASH Clinical News’ “Notes from the Hill” column, available at ashclinicalnews.org/viewpoints/notes-from-the-hill.

For requirements and more information about the program, visit hematology.org/advocacy/congressional-fellowship.


ASH Announces Donation of NGS Equipment to Low- and Middle-Income Countries

In late November, 2020, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) announced the donation of next-generation sequencing (NGS) equipment to six reference laboratories in five countries that comprise the International Consortium on Acute Leukemia (ICAL), a clinical network strongly supported by the Society that brings together leading clinical investigators from Europe, North America, and South America to improve the standard of care and outcomes for patients with leukemia in Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.

The effort to donate six iSeq™ 100 instruments and implement protocols for their use is being led by two ICAL volunteers and pioneers in NGS, Peter Valk, PhD, of the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Torsten Haferlach, MD, of the Munich Leukemia Laboratory in Germany and The Torsten Haferlach Leukemia Diagnostics Foundation.

“ICAL has paved the way for many inspiring improvements in care for individuals living with acute myeloid leukemia in developing countries,” said 2020 ASH President Stephanie Lee, MD, MPH, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. “We appreciate the efforts of Drs. Haferlach and Valk to spearhead the implementation of NGS for patients in participating countries. Their actions will enable patients in these countries to access appropriate care for their disease sub-type that was likely previously out of reach.”

The Torsten Haferlach Leukemia Diagnostics Foundation of Germany agreed to donate Illumina iSeq 100 machines, reagent starter kits, and software tools to each of the countries participating in ICAL. The donation, which was also supported by the biotechnology company Illumina, will help ensure that AML patients in these nations benefit from more accurate diagnostic classification and prognostic assessment, and that they will ultimately have access to precision treatments.

The iSeq 100 instruments and consumables will be installed and fully operational by early 2021. Full training for the lab teams will be delivered by Dr. Valk and his team from the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, as well as Dr. Haferlach’s team at the MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory.

Learn more about ICAL and other international ASH programs at hematology.org/global-initiatives.


Registration for the ASH Hematology In-Service Exam Is Now Open

ASH’s Hematology In-Service Exam is a low-stakes exam that has been offered to hematology fellows since 2009. The 200-question medical knowledge assessment allows trainees to gauge their readiness to take the American Board of Internal Medicine hematology board exam, while also offering feedback to training programs on the effectiveness of their curricula.

The exam will be offered March 23 and 24, 2021, and will have remote and in-person proctoring options available. Pricing is $275 for ASH members and $325 for non-members; each program may register one key faculty member for a discounted price of $50.

Learn more about the exam, including adjustments made during COVID-19, in a Practice Update in the December 2020 issue of ASH Clinical News.

Register today at hematology.org/ise.


ASH Announces New Partnered Award With CIBMTR and ASTCT for Researchers From Underrepresented Backgrounds

ASH has partnered with the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) and the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT) to create the ASH-CIBMTR-ASTCT Career Development Award. The award is designed for clinical and translational researchers from underrepresented backgrounds in medicine who intend for clinical care of patients to be a part of their future career in hematopoietic cell transplantation and cellular therapy.

Find eligibility information and project requirements at hematology.org/awards.