Remembering Anthony Tartaglia, Announcing the ASH 2016 Physician–Scientist Career-Development Award Recipients, and more

Anthony Tartaglia, MD, a prominent blood disease specialist and distinguished emeritus member of the American Society of Hematology, passed away on March 21, 2016, after a two-week hospitalization related to a long-term heart condition.

Dr. Tartaglia attended the University of Rochester School of Medicine and had a long association with the Albany Medical Center Hospital in Albany, New York. In 1959, he began his residency at Albany, then later completed his fellowship in hematology. Dr. Tartaglia served as head of hematology from 1970 to 1975 before moving to St. Peter’s Hospital, where he was chief of medicine. He rejoined Albany in 1984 as executive vice president for patient care. Dr. Tartaglia was also dean of Albany Medical College from 1990 to 1995, where he oversaw the activities of 500 medical students and 100 graduate students, and was credited with recruiting outstanding faculty members and highly credentialed department chairs.

Throughout his career, he received several recognitions for his accomplishments in medicine, and a scholarship fund in his name was set up at Albany Medical College in 1970 in honor of his mentorship.

Dr. Tartaglia is survived by his wife, Jeanne, their three children, and five grandchildren.

According to Greek mythology, Mentor was a friend of Odysseus and a tutor to his son. In modern times, “mentor” has come to describe a faithful and wise advisor. Dr. Anthony Tartaglia was my mentor. He was a clinician par excellence, a master at teaching and communication with patients. He inspired, in hundreds of medical students, staff, and fellows, why blood was interesting. He always had a twinkle in his eye and a ready smile while keeping us all on our toes. He taught us how to discuss end-of-life issues and deliver bad news, so we were prepared for the real world. His love, knowledge, and enthusiasm with patients and families and his humor and compassion are unmatched.

—Submitted by Kenneth R. Adler, MD, Regional Cancer Care Associates LLC

Timothy Ley Receives Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation Award

Timothy J. Ley, MD, received the David T. Workman Memorial Award from the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation. The award, presented every other year, recognizes scientists who develop novel therapies for poorly treatable cancer types. Dr. Ley is professor of medicine and genetics within the Division of Oncology at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, Missouri. The eighth recipient of the award, Dr. Ley is being honored for his leadership role in developing genome sequencing as an unbiased platform to identify new molecular targets for the clinical development of more selective, non-cytotoxic treatments for patients with acute myeloid leukemia.

Source: Samuel Waxman press release, March 23, 2016.

Scott Armstrong Named Chair of Pediatric Oncology at Dana-Farber

Scott A. Armstrong, MD, PhD, has been named chair of the Department of Pediatric Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the David G. Nathan Professor of Pediatrics at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. He will also serve as associate chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Armstrong is currently serving as the Grayer Family Chair, the director of the Center for Epigenetics Research, vice chair of Pediatrics, and a member of the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York.

Source: Dana-Farber press release, March 29, 2016.

New Members of AAAS Include Five Hematologists/Oncologists

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), which recognizes leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors, announced the 213 members of its class of 2016, including five hematologists/oncologists:

James R. Downing, MD, president and chief executive officer, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN

Gary Gilliland, MD, PhD, president and director, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA

Adrian R. Krainer, PhD, professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY

Warren J. Leonard, MD, NIH distinguished investigator, Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD

Karen H. Vousden, PhD, director, Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Glasgow, UK

Source: AAAS press release, April 20, 2016.

ASH Announces 2016 Physician–Scientist Career-Development Award Recipients

Five medical students have been selected to receive the 2016-2017 ASH Physician–Scientist Career-Development Award. This award program is designed to help students attending accredited medical schools in the United States or Canada gain experience in hematology research under the mentorship of an ASH member.

From July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, the students chosen to take part in the program will spend more than 80 percent of their time conducting laboratory, translational, or clinical research. Recipients will receive a total of $42,000, which will help cover their supplies, insurance, educational expenses, salary, and meeting attendance.

The 2016 Physician–Scientist Career-Development Award recipients are:

  • Daniel Chandra, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, Augusta, GA
    Research Project: “The Role of Interleukin-22 in Regulation of the Intestinal Stem Cell Compartment in Graft-Versus-Host Disease”
  • Melanie Donahue, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
    Research Project: “Mechanisms of Cohesinopathy in Myelodysplastic Syndromes”
  • Kevin Dong, Northeast Ohio
    Medical University, Rootstown, OH
    Research Project: “Modeling Cytogenetically Normal Acute Myeloid Leukemia”
  • Alicia Stallings, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of
    Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
    Research Project: “Parent and Clinician Perspectives of Transplantation as Treatment for Sickle Cell Disease”
  • Radovan Vasic, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
    Research Project: “Characterizing Altered Splicing by Mutant SRSF2 in Myelodysplastic Syndromes”

Source: ASH news release, April 28, 2016.