ASH to honor six scientists for treatment of hematologic diseases

The American Society of Hematology (ASH), the world's largest professional society of blood specialists, will honor six scientists who have made significant contributions to the understanding and treatment of hematologic diseases. These awards will be presented at the 52nd ASH Annual Meeting taking place December 4-7 in Orlando.

Volker Diehl, MD, of the University of Cologne in Cologne, Germany, will be presented with the 2010 Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology for his pioneering research on Hodgkin lymphoma for more than 40 years. His scientific achievements include the discovery of the causative role of the Epstein-Barr virus in infectious mononucleosis and the study of its association with Hodgkin lymphoma. He also cultured the first notoriously fragile Hodgkin cell lines and led the development of BEACOPP, a chemotherapy regimen for the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma. Dr. Diehl also founded the Competence Network Malignant Lymphomas in Germany, which has transformed the way patients with lymphoma are treated within the German health insurance system. Dr. Diehl has devoted his scientific life to the understanding and treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma, and his career is a great example of excellence in translational and clinical research.

Sanford Shattil, MD, of the University of California - San Diego, San Diego, CA, will be presented with the 2010 Stratton Medal for his remarkable achievements in the area of platelet cell biology and signal transduction. Dr. Shattil led the way in defining the roles of numerous kinases, scaffold proteins, small G-proteins, and exchange factors in outside-in integrin signaling platelets. He has often been the first to introduce cutting-edge approaches into the platelet field, including live cell imaging and pioneering the technique of deriving megakaryocytes from mouse bone marrow or human stem cells to use as a molecularly tractable model of platelet signaling.

David T. Scadden, MD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Boston, MA, will be presented with the 2010 Dameshek Prize for his landmark contributions to stem cell biology. Dr. Scadden increased the fundamental understanding of the stem cell niche and how cells engage it. His laboratory was the first to show that modifying CXCR4 can lead to stem cell mobilization and more recently defined two new molecular regulators of stem cell homing and engraftment. These, combined with real-time imaging of individual stem cells engrafting in their niche, provide new opportunities for understanding and manipulating the processes critical for stem cell transplantation. His contributions have altered thinking in the field and given direction for interventions to improve transplantation.

Leonard I. Zon, MD, of Children's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, will be recognized with the E. Donnall Thomas Lecture and Prize for his pioneering research into the development and regulation of hematopoietic stem cells. This prize, named after a Nobel Prize laureate and past Society president, recognizes pioneering research achievements in hematology.

Barry S. Coller, MD, and Joel S. Bennett, MD, will be recognized with the Ernest T. Beutler Lecture and Prize. Together, the achievements of these two hematologists have enabled advances in basic science as well as in clinical science and translational applications. This award and lectureship is named for the late Ernest Beutler, MD, past president of ASH and physician-scientist for more than 50 years. It is presented to two individuals and is intended to recognize major advances related to a single topic.


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