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Announcement of Awards: William Dameshek Prize and Henry M. Stratton Medals

Program: General Sessions
Tuesday, December 13, 2022: 8:45 AM-9:00 AM
Hall E (Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Chair:
Jane N. Winter, MD, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
Disclosures:
Winter: Novartis: Consultancy, Other: for Spouse, to the University of Chicago, Research Funding; Rafael: Other: For Spouse, to University of Chicago, Research Funding; Forty Seven/Gilead: Other: For Spouse, to University of Chicago, Research Funding; Astellas: Other: For Spouse, to University of Chicago, Research Funding; CVS/Caremark: Consultancy, Other: For Spouse; Servier: Consultancy, Other: For Spouse; Daiichi Sankyo: Other: for Spouse, to the University of Chicago, Research Funding; Cellectis: Other: for Spouse, to the University of Chicago, Research Funding; Merck & Co., Inc.: Honoraria, Research Funding.

WILLIAM DAMESHEK PRIZE

The William Dameshek Prize, named for the late William Dameshek, MD, a past president of ASH and the original editor of Blood, recognizes an early- or mid-career individual who has made a recent outstanding contribution to the field of hematology.

Irene Ghobrial, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, is being recognized for her research on the mechanisms underlying disease progression in myeloma. Through her work, she has challenged standard myeloma patient care by leading screening for early detection of the disease, uncovering novel biomarkers for risk stratification, and disrupting the traditional myeloma treatment paradigm with innovative trials in smoldering myeloma. While Dr. Ghobrial has made many significant contributions to her field, her most notable research accomplishments include leading PROMISE, the first screening study in the US and the first study to ever screen high-risk individuals. PROMISE detected MGUS/SMM, a precursor molecule for myeloma, in more than 30,000 individuals deemed to be at high risk of developing myeloma, many of whom are African American and first-degree relatives of patients with myeloma. Dr. Ghobrial and her colleagues are also pioneering early-intervention prevention strategies for myeloma using CAR-T cells.

HENRY M. STRATTON MEDAL

The Henry M. Stratton Medal is named after the late Henry Maurice Stratton, co-founder of Grune and Stratton, the medical publishing house that first published ASH’s journal Blood. The prize honors two senior investigators whose contributions to both basic and clinical/ translational hematology research are well recognized and have taken place over a period of several years.

Timothy Ley, MD, of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, the basic science awardee, is being recognized for leading the effort to sequence the first human cancer genomes, from patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). These studies helped to create a foundation for the Cancer Genome Atlas, and the discovery of many previously unknown drivers of AML. His research focuses on understanding the molecular underpinnings of AML, including the acquired mutations and altered gene expression patterns responsible for the disease’s initiation, progression, and relapse. He is currently studying AML initiating events, and how they "reprogram" hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells to make them more fit for transformation. He hopes that mechanism-based targeting of the initiating events may provide new approaches for treating myeloid malignancies.

Robert Montgomery, MD, of Versiti Blood Research Institute, the translational/clinical awardee, is being recognized for his substantial contributions to understanding hemophilia, von Willebrand disease (VWD), and interactions between von Willebrand factor (VWF) and Factor VIII (FVIII), both of which are critical components of hemostasis. Dr. Montgomery was the first to identify what became known as the VWF propeptide that shepherds the trafficking, bond formation, and storage of mature VWF within endothelial cells. He has led a VWD Program Project since 2005 that has identified problems with the stringency of VWD diagnosis, new causes of variant VWD, new functional assays for VWF, and developed rodent models of variant VWD and hemophilia. He also developed a novel approach for gene therapy of hemophilia A with inhibitors using ectopic expression of FVIII in platelets that binds, stores with VWF, and releases FVIII at sites of vessel injury where it is functional even in presence of high-titer FVIII inhibitory antibodies. His research has not only advanced our fundamental understanding of VWF and FVIII biosynthesis and function but also translated to the clinical diagnosis and management of VWD patients.

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