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ASH Honors Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and NHLBI Deputy Director Susan Shurin, MD, for Their Public Service, Leadership, and Commitment to Biomedical Research

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Society of Hematology (ASH), the world's largest professional society of blood specialists, will recognize the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Deputy Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) for their efforts to promote biomedical research. The Public Service awards will be announced in conjunction with the Society's 50th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

The Honorable Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will receive ASH's Award for Public Service for her long-time support and leadership on health care issues such as increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and advocating for stem cell research. After assuming the office of Speaker in January 2007, Speaker Pelosi made passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Actone of the cornerstones of the "First 100 Hours" agenda of the 110th Congress. Speaker Pelosi was also instrumental in guiding legislation through Congress to prevent scheduled cuts in Medicare reimbursement for physicians.

Susan Shurin, MD, Deputy Director of the NHLBI (a part of the National Institutes of Health) will be honored with ASH's Outstanding Service Award. In her role as Deputy Director, Dr. Shurin has worked closely with ASH on many activities of importance to hematology, including restructuring and enhancing NHLBI's sickle cell disease research program. Dr. Shurin has been a tireless advocate of ensuring NHLBI is at the forefront of innovative technologies and cutting-edge research that will help patients with serious blood diseases such as hemophilia, leukemia, lymphoma, and deep-vein-thrombosis (DVT). She has also been a long-standing and dedicated member of the Society with extensive service on numerous committees and as a faculty member for the ASH Clinical Research Training Institute, an education and mentoring program for promising hematologists early in their careers.

"Both Speaker Pelosi and Dr. Shurin have provided outstanding leadership to strengthen and support programs critical to the work carried out by researchers and practitioners in the hematology community," said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, 2008 ASH President, and Helen M. Ranney Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. "It is my honor and pleasure to recognize these two distinguished individuals for their achievements."

The awards will be announced on Sunday, December 7, at 1:30 p.m. PST following the joint ASH and European Hematology Association Policy Forum.

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. In September, ASH launched Blood:The Vital Connection (, a credible online resource addressing bleeding and clotting disorders, anemia, and cancer. It provides hematologist-approved information about these common blood disorders including risk factors, preventive measures, and treatment options. A cornerstone of this public awareness campaign is a new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Joseph Lovett called "Blood Detectives," which will air on the Discovery Health cable network on December 19, 2008, at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT and again at 12:00 midnight. The show focuses on hematologists as they work to unravel medical mysteries and save lives.

SOURCE American Society of Hematology
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