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ASH Holds a Special Symposium to Interest High School Students in Biomedical Research

ATLANTA, Dec. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will host its annual high school student symposium at the Georgia World Congress Center on Friday, December 7, 2007, beginning at 8:00 a.m. EST. The symposium, which encourages an interest in hematology, the biological sciences, and medical research, is held in conjunction with the Society's 49th Annual Meeting. This year, students will have the opportunity to explore research on sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder, which distorts the shape of red blood cells, causing severe pain.

"The symposium is always a great opportunity to get students interested in hematology and biomedical science in general," said Scott D. Gitlin, MD, Chair of ASH's Committee on Training Programs, which helped organize the event. "Focusing on a well-known disorder like sickle cell disease is an excellent way to introduce students to this exciting specialty."

Students from five local high schools, including Carver School of Health Science and Research, Mays High School, South Atlanta High School of Health and Medical Science, Therrell High School of Engineering, Math, and Sciences, and Therrell High School of Health Science and Research, will participate in a series of activities related to sickle cell disease during the half-day symposium. Each student will receive a worksheet to gather data related to the presentations. Teachers will later use the worksheet to facilitate classroom discussions.

After a kick-off breakfast, Peter Lane, MD, from Emory University, will give a presentation focusing on the diagnosis and clinical manifestations of sickle cell disease as part of the symposium. Later in the morning, Michael Bender, MD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, will give a lecture on treatment options for sickle cell disease. Students will also have an opportunity to hear real-life experiences from young people living with sickle cell disease.

In addition, ASH will sponsor a poster contest for symposium participants. Students, in teams, can conduct research on sickle cell disease and present their findings in a poster and oral presentation. ASH symposium speakers and volunteers will judge the posters, awarding the top three groups with cash prizes of $1,500, $1,000, and $750. The prize money will then go to the winning teams' science departments.

The American Society of Hematology ( is the world's largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders. Its mission is to further the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, hemostatic, and vascular systems, by promoting research, clinical care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology.

SOURCE American Society of Hematology
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