Announcing This Year’s Top ASH Award Recipients

Each year, the Society recognizes outstanding hematologists who have made significant contributions to the field with the follow-ing awards: Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology, Henry M. Stratton Medal, William Dameshek Prize, E. Donnall Thomas Lecture and Prize, and Ernest Beutler Lecture and Prize. In addition, the ASH Mentor Award is given to two exceptional mentors to recognize the oft-overlooked role of mentors in shaping the hematology community.

This year’s prizes were awarded to nine outstanding hematologists who have made valuable contributions to the understanding and treatment of hematologic diseases. Read more about the winners below.

Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology

Kanti R. Rai, MD, of the Hofstra North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) School of Medicine, will be awarded the Society’s highest honor for his 50-year career combining landmark clinical research, steadfast commitment to education and mentoring, and exceptional patient care. Dr. Rai has been a leader in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) for almost 40 years — including the publication of the “Rai” prognostic categorization of CLL in Blood in 1975, which continues to be used by physicians and clinical investigators today.
Dr. Rai will receive his award at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 7, at this year’s annual meeting.

E. Donnall Thomas Lecture

Tomas Ganz, MD, PhD, of the University of California-Los Angeles, will be hon-ored with the 2014 E. Donnall Thomas Lecture for his groundbreaking research in iron homeostasis — including the discovery of the iron-regulatory hormone hepcidin and investigation of its roles in iron metabolism.

Dr. Ganz will present his lecture, “Iron, Erythropoiesis, and Host Defense: A Ménage à Trois,” at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 8, at this year’s annual meeting.

Henry M. Stratton Medal

Geraldine P. Schechter, MD, of the Washington Veterans Affairs Medical Center and George Washington University, is the recipient of the 2014 Stratton Medal for Clinical Science. For more than 40 years, Dr. Schechter has been the cornerstone of hematologic care at the VA Medical Center, helping to advance the diagnosis and treatment of chronic lymphoid malignancies and autoimmune hematologic disorders.

Timothy Springer, PhD, of Harvard Medical School, is the recipient of the 2014 Stratton Medal for Basic Science. During his 35-year career, Dr. Springer has focused his research efforts on the basic mechanisms of hemostasis, inflammation, and immunology. Dr. Springer has published more than 500 works which have helped pave the way for a number of new therapeutic agents.

Drs. Schechter and Springer will accept their awards at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 9, during this year’s annual meeting.

Ernest Beutler Lecture and Prize

Michael DeBaun, MD, MPH, of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and Robert P. Hebbel, MD, of the University of Minnesota Medical School, will be honored for their significant research advances in sickle cell disease (SCD). Both doctors’ research has allowed for the translation of basic laboratory insights to the patient bedside resulting in better care for millions of SCD patients worldwide.

Drs. DeBaun and Hebbel will present their lecture, “Sickle Cell Disease: Improved Un-derstanding but Continued Challenges,” at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, December 8, at this year’s annual meeting.

ASH Mentor Award
Grover C. Bagby Jr., MD, of the Oregon Health & Science University, and John DiPersio, MD, PhD, of Washington University School of Medicine, will be recognized for their outstanding mentorship at this year’s annual meeting. Dr. Bagby’s mentees cite his selfless leadership and caring dedication as critical elements of his successful 46-year career; his trainees now serve as successful clinicians, policy makers, and administrators. Dr. DiPersio was selected for his unwavering service as a role model and mentor during his nearly 35-year career that has helped shape the careers of more than two dozen mentees who hold prestigious academic positions throughout the world.

Drs. Bagby and DiPersio will receive their awards at the Announcement of Awards session at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 7, at this year’s annual meeting.

William Dameshek Prize

Scott Armstrong, MD, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, will be recognized for his exceptional work in leukemia research and cancer stem cell biology. Through his pioneering research in the fields of genomic and stem cell biology, Dr. Armstrong has helped fuel new therapies for patients diagnosed with leukemia.

Dr. Armstrong will accept his award at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 9, during this year’s annual meeting.

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