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ASH to Encourage High School Students to Pursue Biomedical Research Through Special Symposium and Science Curriculum

NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will host its annual High School Student Symposium at the New Orleans Marriott on Thursday, December 3, at 8:00 a.m. CST. The symposium, which encourages an interest in hematology, the biological sciences, and medical research, is held in conjunction with the Society's 51st Annual Meeting. This year, students will have the opportunity to explore research on sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder that distorts the shape of red blood cells, causing severe pain and other health problems in patients who have the disease.

"Through this program, we hope to show students how exciting and rewarding a career in biomedical research -- and hematology in particular -- really is," said Scott D. Gitlin, MD, Chair of ASH's Committee on Training Programs, which organized the event. "By stimulating an interest in the field, we hope to encourage a number of talented young scholars to the enter the specialty and be the next generation of hematologists to make important contributions to research and patient care."

Students from two local high schools -- Eleanor McMain Secondary School and McDonogh 35 Senior High School -- will participate in a series of activities related to sickle cell disease and biomedical research during the half-day symposium. After a kick-off breakfast, two local physicians from Tulane University School of Medicine and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center will give presentations. Charles Scher, MD, will give a lecture on the diagnosis and clinical manifestations of sickle cell disease followed by Renee V. Gardner, MD, who will discuss treatment options. Students will record data related to the presentations that teachers will later use to facilitate classroom discussions. In addition, small breakout sessions will provide the students with hands-on demonstrations that illustrate scientific techniques related to sickle cell disease and biomedical research.

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

In another effort targeted to high school students, ASH and Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education, and media company, have launched "Explore the Mystery of Blood," a dynamic science curriculum designed to spark interest in the fields of science and medicine, in addition to exposing students to exciting career opportunities in hematology. It includes lesson plans built on themes from the hematology documentary "Blood Detectives" and information from, a Web site designed to educate the public about the importance of healthy blood. The curriculum is being distributed to 50,000 high school science teachers and science club advisors nationwide, reaching more than 4 million students. It will also be available for download at

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. Follow ASH on Twitter at ASH_hematology.


Scholastic Corporation (Nasdaq: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology and children's media. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs and school-based book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, television networks and the Company's Internet site,


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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