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Ching-Hon Pui, M.D., honored by the American Society of Hematology for work in childhood cancer

Ching-Hon Pui, M.D., an eminent leader in the research and treatment of pediatric leukemia at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, has been named the recipient of the 2011 Henry M. Stratton Medal from the American Society of Hematology (ASH). The award recognizes the progress Pui has made in the fight against this blood cancer during the past three decades.

Named after the late Henry Maurice Stratton, co-founder of Grune and Stratton, the medical publishing house that first published ASH's journal Blood, the award honors a senior investigator whose contributions to hematology are well recognized and have taken place over a period of several years. Pui will accept the medal in December during the 53rd ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego.

"Dr. Pui has dedicated his career to advancing the research and treatment of pediatric leukemia," said Dr. William E. Evans, St. Jude director and CEO. "This honor recognizes his leadership contributions as a translational researcher, physician and educator. His work has shaped how pediatric leukemia is treated worldwide."

Pui has played a central role in a series of treatment protocols responsible for raising cure rates of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common childhood cancer, from about 70 percent in the early 1980s to an unprecedented 90 percent at St. Jude today. His work has shown that cranial irradiation, once regarded as a standard treatment for childhood ALL, can be omitted altogether, thus sparing patients from devastating side effects and enhancing their quality of life. More recently, his treatment approach resulted in a remarkably high cure rateapproaching 90 percentin older adolescents with ALL.

Pui's team also pioneered the use of pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenetics to individualize chemotherapy and to optimize the use of existing drugs. He and his colleagues also have used genome-wide analysis to accurately classify leukemias, to identify cooperative genetic mutations of leukemic cells and molecular targets for therapy, and to identify host genes associated with the development of leukemia.

Pui is chair of the Department of Oncology at St. Jude; co-leader of the hospital's Hematological Malignancies Program; medical director of the St. Jude International Outreach China Program; and holder of the Fahad Nassar Al-Rashid Chair of Leukemia Research. In addition to his work at St. Jude, Pui helped found the International Childhood ALL Working Group to facilitate international research collaboration and has been helping developing countries access modern leukemia treatments.

Pui, who joined St. Jude in 1977, has authored more than 700 original articles and chapters, edited seven books and monographs, and serves as section editor or editorial board member for several esteemed journals. He is also one of the most highly cited authors in clinical medicine research. Pui's many awards and honors include elected memberships in the Association of American Physicians and the American Society for Clinical Investigation; election as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the American Cancer Society F.M. Kirby Clinical Research Professorship; the 2009 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Team Science Award; the 2010 Castle Connolly National Physician of the Year Award; and the 2011 AACR Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Research.


Contact: Summer Freeman
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

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