SAACR Awards Indian Americans for Cancer Research Discoveries, GBT Awards $450k to SCD Care Centers, and more

Catherine Bollard, MD, MBChB

Catherine Bollard Recognized for Mentorship and Cell-Based Therapy Research

Catherine Bollard, MD, MBChB, director of the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC, and incoming editor-in-chief of Blood Advances, was added to The Medicine Maker’s 2021 Power List in the category of advanced medicine in recognition of her work in developing cell-based therapies.

Dr. Bollard also was awarded the 2021 International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy Darwin J. Prockop Mentoring Award. She has mentored more than 93 individuals, including 22 junior faculty, 27 postdoctoral fellows, and 12 graduate students.

“For the past 15 years, [Dr. Bollard] has been a strong mentor, friend, advocate, and voice of reason for me and has been instrumental in my success, both at Baylor College of Medicine and now at Children’s National,” said Patrick Hanley, PhD, chief and director of the Cellular Therapy Program at Children’s National. “With her support and mentorship, I have been fortunate to publish high-impact papers, earn a number of awards and receive prestigious grants. Without her guidance this wouldn’t have been possible.”

Amy Hont, MD, an oncologist for the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research at Children’s National, said, “Dr. Bollard has been incredibly supportive of my research career throughout my training and progression to faculty. I feel very fortunate that I have been able to benefit not only from her unparalleled knowledge and expertise, but also her career advice and resources.”

Source: Children’s National press release, May 25, 2021.


Nina Bhardwaj, MD, PhD
Koyamangalath Krishnan, MD

SAACR Awards Indian Americans for Cancer Research Discoveries

The Society of American Asian Scientists in Cancer Research (SAASCR) presented awards to several Indian American scientists for their contributions to cancer research during the society’s annual meeting in May. Founded in 2004, SAASCR is a California-based nonprofit organization with more than 5,000 scientists from Asia who are working in the U.S. and Canada in the field of cancer research.

Among the award recipients are:

  • Nina Bhardwaj, MD, PhD, professor of Medicine, Hematology, and Oncology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, for her contributions to human dendritic cell biology
  • Koyamangalath Krishnan, MD, professor in the Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology at East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City, for his work on the mechanisms of cancer preventive drugs over the last 25 years.

Source: India West, June 2, 2021.


Emil Freireich, MD
Sonali M. Smith, MD

Hematologists Receive 2021 ASCO Special Awards

At its annual meeting, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) announced the 2021 recipients of its Special Awards.

“The recipients of this year’s Special Awards have made exceptional contributions to the oncology community,” said Monica Bertagnolli, MD, former president of ASCO and chair of the Joint Special Awards Selection Committee. “It is our honor to recognize their commitment to transforming cancer care and improving quality of life for people living with cancer.”

The winners include:

  • Emil J. Freireich, MD, who received the Distinguished Achievement Aw-
    ard recognizing his work developing therapies for childhood leukemia. Dr. Freireich passed away in February and had worked at MD Anderson Cancer Center since 1965.
  • Sonali M. Smith, MD, Elwood V. Jensen professor of medicine, section chief of hematology/oncology, co-leader of the cancer service line and director of the lymphoma program in the University of Chicago’s department of medicine, who received the Excellence in Teaching Award for her impact on trainees in cancer medicine.

Source: Healio, June 6, 2021.


Global Blood Therapeutics Awards $450,000 to Community-Based SCD Care Centers

As part of its 2021 Access to Excellent Care for Sickle Cell Patients (ACCEL) Grant Program, Global Blood Therapeutics has announced approximately $450,000 in funding for U.S. community-based health care organizations and institutions. The pharmaceutical company first launched the ACCEL program in February 2019 to support U.S. nonprofit organizations that serve patients with sickle cell disease and caregivers.

“Access to high-quality healthcare has been a historic barrier for people with sickle cell disease, while community-based organizations and institutions play an indispensable role in driving innovative and lasting solutions,” said Jung E. Choi, chief business and strategy officer and head of patient advocacy and government affairs at Global Blood Therapeutics.

2021 ACCEL grants have been awarded to the following organizations and institutions:

  • Project PLACE: Locating Persons with SCD, Assessing & Coordinating Services & Education at the Cayenne Wellness Center in Burbank, California
  • Project SCoviD at Sick Cells in Chicago, Illinois
  • Project PEEP: Patients Empowered and Educated Providers at the Sickle Cell Community Consortium in Cumming, Georgia
  • Oklahoma System of SCD Care at Supporters of Families with Sickle Cell Disease in Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Collaborative Conversations: Breaking Down Silos to Improve Care for People with SCD at the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Patient Navigator for Patients with SCD at Hamilton Community Health Network in Flint, Michigan
  • Sickle Cell Emergency Collaboration at Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Integrating Palliative Care in the MGH Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Sickle Cell Boot Camp to Promote Nursing Excellence at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing in Memphis, Tennessee

Source: GBT press release, June 15, 2021.