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Announcement of Awards: William Dameshek Prize and Henry M. Stratton Medals followed by ASH Bylaws Vote

Program: General Sessions
Tuesday, December 12, 2023: 8:45 AM-9:00 AM
Hall A (San Diego Convention Center)
Robert A. Brodsky, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Brodsky: Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease: Research Funding.


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.

ASH will recognize Omar Abdel-Wahab, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, with the 2023 William Dameshek Prize.  Dr. Abdel-Wahab is being honored for his trailblazing research characterizing the genetic mutations that drive blood cancers. His work has focused on understanding the underlying recurrent mutations in the RNA splicing mechanism leading to the development of myelodysplastic syndromes and leukemia. This discovery has paved the way for the development of multiple drugs targeting RNA splicing activity, currently in the early phases of clinical development. Additionally, his research has played a pivotal role in securing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the first targeted therapies for patients with rare blood cancers known as systemic histiocytic neoplasms.


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.

ASH will recognize Rodger McEver, MD, of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, with the 2023 Henry M. Stratton Medal for basic science. Dr. McEver is being honored for his pivotal discovery and characterization of a protein, known as P-selectin, and its ligand, PSGL-1, that play crucial roles in bridging the processes of blood clotting and inflammation. His main research focuses on understanding how platelets and leukocytes are recruited to sites of injury and infection. Dr. McEver’s contributions have ranged from basic discoveries about the biophysical properties of cell interactions to clinical advances, such as the development and approval of the anti-P-selectin monoclonal antibody, crizanlizumab, for the prevention of vaso-occlusive crises in sickle cell patients.

ASH will recognize James B. Bussel, MD, of Weill Cornell Medicine, with the 2023 Henry M. Stratton Medal for translational/clinical science. Dr. Bussel is being honored for his invaluable contributions to the development of agents that increase platelet counts in patients with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) and other conditions. His achievements include the groundbreaking discovery that giving intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) to mothers can raise platelet counts in cases of fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FNAIT) – a treatment now used around the world and that was recognized by the King Faisal prize in 2012. In the realm of ITP, Dr. Bussel has increased the understanding of how IVIG treatment prevents platelet destruction. His work has played a pivotal role in the development of many medications used to treat thrombocytopenic conditions, as recognized in the prescribing information for the three approved thrombopoietic (TPO) agents.


Following the presentations of awards, ASH members will be asked to approve amendments to the Society's bylaws, as communicated to Active and International members in early October via email.

See more of: General Sessions