Remembering Stanley Schrier, John Hansen, and more

Stanley Schrier, MD
Stanley Schrier, MD

Remembering Stanley Schrier (1929 – 2019)

Stanley Schrier, MD, a former American Society of Hematology (ASH) president who spent nearly 60 years at Stanford University’s Department of Medicine, passed away on August 16.

In 1954, Dr. Schrier graduated from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he remained for his internship before moving to the universities of Michigan and Chicago for additional clinical training. He arrived at Stanford in 1959 as one of four members of the division of hematology. By 1968, he was acting as division chief, a position he held until 1995.

Following his retirement, Dr. Schrier assumed an emeritus faculty position as professor of medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He remained an active part of the division and department: As recently as July, he continued to see patients in the hematology clinic, interviewed applicants for residency and fellowship positions, and had an ongoing teaching and mentoring role for early-career doctors.

Dr. Schrier’s research interests in red cell biology led to a more than 20-year effort to understand the pathophysiology of the thalassemias. That interest led him to projects in Israel, Italy, and Thailand, where there is a high rate of thalassemia and where he found expert, enthusiastic collaborators.

Dr. Schrier was a dedicated member of ASH, having served as chair and member of various committees, including as president in 2004. In addition to his numerous research and leadership accolades, Dr. Schrier received an ASH Mentor Award in 2013. He also was a founding member of the ASH-sponsored International Consortium on Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (IC-APL), now the International Consortium on Acute Leukemia (ICAL), and is remembered as a strong supporter of the program.

Dr. Schrier also was known for producing his own wines, a hobby that he spoke about with ASH Clinical News in May 2016.

He is survived by his wife and their children and grandchildren. In Dr. Schrier’s honor, Stanford recently established the Schrier Fellow Scholar Award, which will help support budding hematologists in training at the university.

Source: Stanford University press release.

John Hansen, MD
John Hansen, MD

Remembering John Hansen (1943 – 2019)

John Hansen, MD, a transplant immunologist who was known as a founding father of volunteer bone marrow donor registries, passed away on July 31.

Dr. Hansen was a native of Minneapolis and received his medical degree from Stanford University. In 1977, he took an appointment at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. His career at the institution spanned five decades, and, at the time of his passing, he was a professor emeritus.

His career was marked by pivotal contributions in the field of transplantation immunology, including demonstrating how genetic variation in the immune system contributes to the success or failure of bone marrow transplant. He also defined rules for matching bone marrow transplant donors and patients.

Dr. Hansen’s work at the clinical tissue–typing laboratory at Fred Hutch made possible the first-known transplant for leukemia using an unrelated donor in 1979. The patient’s family was instrumental in advocating for the establishment of the U.S.’s National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), which began in 1986. Dr. Hansen was a member of the original task force responsible for planning and setting up the donor registry of potential bone marrow or blood stem cell donors. He served on the NMDP’s board of directors from 1988 to 2004 and led the program’s creation of a repository of paired samples from transplant patients and donors.

Dr. Hansen held numerous leadership positions throughout his career, including head of Fred Hutch’s Human Immuno-genetics Program for 25 years. He also was honored with several awards from professional organizations, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy.

“The contributions that John made in the field of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation were extraordinary,” said Fred Hutch President and Director Gary Gilliland, MD, PhD. “His work extended transplantation on a global scale.”

Dr. Hansen is survived by his wife and his four adult children and their families. He is predeceased by his first wife and parents.

Source: Fred Hutchinson press release.

University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Earns National Cancer Institute Designation

The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine recently received a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation. Sylvester is now one of only two NCI-designated cancer centers in the state of Florida, and one of just 71 across the nation.

The NCI awarded the designation in recognition of Sylvester’s scientific contributions made by members of its laboratories, patient care, and medical outreach. These public health programs include the Firefighter Cancer Initiative, a long-term study of exposures to carcinogens and ways to reduce and prevent cancer risks for Florida firefighters, and the Game Changer community vehicle, which brings cancer screenings to medically underserved communities.

University President Julio Frenk, MD, MPH, PhD, commented, “Today, we recognize the exceptional research and clinical care that have led to this moment. It emanates from the dedication of every member of the cancer center and the leadership of Stephen D. Nimer, MD.”

Source: University of Miami press release, July 29, 2019.

AABB’s National Blood Foundation Announces 2019 Early-Career Grant Recipients

On July 23, AABB’s National Blood Foundation (NBF) announced the names of the six researchers who will be receiving NBF early-career grants in 2019. The winners receive a grant of up to $75,000 to support a one- or two-year research project. The recipients are:

  • Delfim Duarte, MD, PhD, “Targeting the Bone Marrow Vascular Microenvironment to Improve Hematopoietic Stem Cell Therapies in Acute Myeloid Leukemia”
  • Saba Ghassemi, PhD, “Redirecting Quiescent T cells with Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) for Adoptive Immunotherapy”
  • Tiffany Thomas, PhD, “The Effect of Dietary Lipids on Red Cell Lifespan and Recovery”
  • Marie Hollenhorst, MD, PhD, “CMP-Neu5Ac: A Central Molecule in Bleeding Diseases and Mediator of a Novel Platelet Effector Function”
  • Francesca Vinchi, PhD, “Role of Heme-Activated Macrophages in Acute Chest Syndrome”
  • Yan Zheng, MD, PhD, “Comprehensive Characterization of RH Loci by Whole Genome Sequencing and Long-read Genome Sequencing”

“NBF is proud to support this new group of early-career investigators as they advance research that will help shape future therapies and treatments,” said Jeanne Hendrickson, MD, chair of the NBF Scientific Research Grants Review Committee.

Source: AABB press release, July 23, 2019.