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51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology Will Highlight Research and Policy Changes Affecting Medical Practice and Patient Care

NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Society of Hematology (ASH), the world's largest professional association of blood specialists, expects more than 20,000 attendees at the 51st ASH Annual Meeting from December 5-8, 2009, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA. The meeting will showcase the latest research and treatments for blood disorders.

"It is my pleasure to host ASH's 51st annual meeting, where we will celebrate the start of the 'next 50 years' of ASH with an update on continuing advances in hematology," said Nancy Berliner, M.D., 2009 ASH President, and Chief of Hematology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "The meeting will feature emerging research trends in the diagnosis, treatment, and understanding of many blood disorders and cancers, and will also highlight other issues affecting physicians and their patients, such as the skyrocketing cost of health care and changes to U.S. health-care policies."

Highlights of the meeting include special symposia, education programs, special-interest seminars, and scientific sessions.

This year's 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth as well as the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book, On the Origin of Species, will be reflected upon in the Ham-Wasserman Lecture. The speaker, Melvyn F. Greaves, Ph.D., will focus on the development of leukemia from a Darwinian perspective and the relevance of evolutionary biology to medicine. The lecture will take place on Saturday, December 5, from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Another hot topic - how increased understanding of cancer stem cells will result in improved prognosis and therapies - will be explored in detail by John E. Dick, Ph.D., during the E. Donnall Thomas Lecture on Monday, December 7, from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. On Monday, December 7, ASH's new Ernest Beutler Lecture and Prize will be awarded to Thomas Maniatis, Ph.D., of Harvard University, and Yuet Wai Kan, M.D., from the University of California, San Francisco. The lecture will be presented from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. and will focus on the impact of molecular genetic studies of globin genes on the diagnosis and treatment of thalassaemia.

The Special Symposium on the Basic Science of Hemostasis and Thrombosis will focus on this year's most important basic science contributions to each of the three major areas of the field: thrombosis, blood coagulation and fibrinolysis, and platelet biology. The invited presentations for the symposium will take place on Tuesday, December 8, from 7:30 - 9:00 a.m., and simultaneous oral sessions will take place from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. In addition, Melanie Bloom, national patient spokesperson for the Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis, will receive ASH's Outstanding Service Award in recognition of her dedication to increasing public awareness of DVT on Sunday, December 6, from 1:30 - 2:00 p.m.

This year's Practice Forum, "New Health-Care Policies and the Practice of Hematology," will address how new health-care policies will affect medical practice, including a discussion of changes in reimbursement that are expected by Medicare in 2010. This event will take place Saturday, December 5, from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. Additionally, the ASH/EHA Policy Forum, co-sponsored with the European Hematology Association, will feature noted health economist Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., President of the Center for Studying Health System Change, who will discuss the cost of health care and balancing a patient's right to care with the high cost of some drugs and procedures. The forum will take place on Sunday, December 6, from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

On the last day of the meeting, the Presidential Symposium will focus on novel genomic approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of hematologic malignancies. Louis M. Staudt, M.D., Ph.D., from the National Cancer Institute, and this year's Dameshek Prize winner, will be a featured speaker, along with Timothy Ley, M.D., from Washington University in St. Louis, and Todd Golub, M.D., from the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. The symposium will take place on Tuesday, December 8, from 9:45 - 11:15 a.m.

For the complete annual meeting program and abstracts, visit Up-to-date annual meeting information can also be obtained by following ASH on Twitter at ASH_hematology.

American Society of Hematology

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. ASH provides Blood: The Vital Connection (, a credible online resource addressing bleeding and clotting disorders, anemia, and cancer. The official journal of ASH is Blood (, the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online.

Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (Dec. 4-8): 504-670-7005

SOURCE American Society of Hematology

SOURCE American Society of Hematology
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