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ASH honors Margaret A. Goodell, Ph.D., with 2012 William Dameshek Prize

Named after the late William Dameshek, MD, a renowned hematologist, past president of ASH, and first editor of the Society's journal Blood, the William Dameshek Prize is awarded to an individual who has made a recent outstanding contribution to the field of hematology. Dr. Goodell will accept this prestigious award at 9:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, during the 54th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta.

Dr. Goodell, an internationally recognized leader in hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) biology, currently directs the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Center at Baylor College of Medicine, where she holds the Vivian L. Smith Chair of Regenerative Medicine and serves as Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular & Human Genetics.

As a postdoctoral fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Goodell developed a method for isolating murine HSCs after observing that they discharge a fluorescent dye. This "side population" method has been used by countless labs worldwide for isolating normal and cancer stem cells, and the original publication in the Journal of Experimental Medicine describing the method has been cited more than 2,000 times.

More recently, Dr. Goodell identified the molecular mechanisms that regulate HSC activation. By characterizing the self-renewal cycle of stem cells in response to the chemotherapy drug 5-Fluorouracil, her lab observed gene expression changes during cell activation and identified several classes of genes that appear to be involved in activating the self-renewal process of HSCs. As a number of these newly identified genes were found to be regulated by interferons, proteins that help defend the body against viruses, Dr. Goodell then demonstrated how tight regulation of the interferon regulatory system is required for normal HSC function and how chronic infection directly alters HSC dormancy through the interferon response. This breakthrough provided new insight into how the entire hematologic response is coordinated during infectious stress and demonstrated, for the first time, that HSCs participate in the fundamental immunologic responses that guide the activation of other, more mature cells that fight infection.

These and additional discoveries made by Dr. Goodell and her laboratory have had major implications for both normal and malignant hematology. These breakthroughs have provided new targets for manipulation of normal stem cells and have improved bone marrow transplantation and other therapeutic interventions for cancer.

Dr. Goodell is renowned for her leadership to ASH and the broader hematology community. In addition to serving as a past chair of the ASH Scientific Committee on Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Goodell has served on the editorial board of Blood, the Society's official journal, and will become an associate editor on January 1, 2013. Beyond her ASH involvement, Dr. Goodell is a founding member of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, where she also served on the board of directors and as chair of the Planning and Audit Committees. She also currently serves as Vice President of the International Society for Experimental Hematology. She has received many honors and awards for her research, including the ASH Scholar Award, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Stohlman Scholar Award, the Ellison Medical Foundation's Senior Scholar Award, the American Heart Association's Established Investigator Award, and the Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas' Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Medicine. Dr. Goodell has served as an outstanding mentor to numerous hematology trainees who have gone on to receive more than 70 individual awards, including one ASH Joanne Levy Memorial Award, two ASH Scholar Awards, two Trainee Research Awards, and nine ASH Abstract Achievement Awards.

"Dr. Goodell has made critical contributions to hematology research, particularly in the area of hematopoietic stem cells, where she has transformed the way hematologists understand stem cell biology and how we approach and perform bone marrow transplants," said ASH President Armand Keating, MD, of Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. "The Society is honored to present her with this award, as she has consistently demonstrated excellence in research, leadership, and mentoring."

Contact: Claire Gwayi-Chore
American Society of Hematology

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