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2009 recipient of minority scholar award begins clinical research on leukemia

(WASHINGTON, July 13, 2009) Alejandro Gutierrez, MD, is the third recipient of the ASH-AMFDP grant, an award designed to help increase the number of underrepresented minority scholars in the field of hematology, and will begin his research into the pathogenesis of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) this month. The award, the result of a partnership between the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program (AMFDP) of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides four years of support, including an annual stipend of up to $75,000 and an annual grant of more than $29,000 for research activities.

"I am truly honored to have been selected as the 2009 recipient of the ASH-AMFDP," said Dr. Gutierrez. "This award represents an outstanding career development opportunity for which I am most grateful, and I look forward to years of productive collaboration with ASH and the AMFDP."

His research is entitled "Unraveling the Molecular Pathogenesis of T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Using Zebrafish Genetics and Small Molecule Screens," and will focus on harnessing the strengths of the zebrafish model system to unravel the molecular pathogenesis of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Specifically, Dr. Gutierrez is interested in identifying targetable molecular pathways that are required for the survival of MYC-overexpressing thymocytes using a zebrafish small molecule screen, and in uncovering the functional roles of novel T-ALL oncogenes and tumor suppressors in our zebrafish model of this disease.

Dr. Gutierrez is currently Instructor in Pediatrics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School.

For more information, please see the ASH-AMFDP page on the ASH Web site.

To arrange an interview with Dr. Gutierrez, please contact Patrick C. Irelan, ASH Communications Assistant, at 202-776-0544 or


Contact: Patrick C. Irelan
American Society of Hematology

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