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The American Society of Hematology to honor inspirational hematologists with Mentor Awards

(WASHINGTON, November 3, 2009) - The American Society of Hematology (ASH) is honoring two prominent hematologists with ASH Mentor Awards in recognition of the important role they play in the training and career development of hematologists early in their careers. Stuart H. Orkin, MD, and Arthur W. Nienhuis, MD, will receive their awards during the 51st ASH Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

Dr. Orkin, who will be receiving the Mentor Award for Basic Science, is the David G. Nathan Professor of Pediatrics at Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He has mentored more than 70 highly successful academic physicians and scientists in the field of hematology, and is known to instill confidence in his trainees to think independently, to see the big picture, and to stay focused. One of his former trainees commented, "It's never a question of time and commitment, it's just natural. You [can] send him an e-mail, you [can] call him up, [if] you've got a question, he's just there and makes the time to provide the kind of input that you're seeking."

Dr. Nienhuis is a member and emeritus director of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and will be receiving the Mentor Award for Clinical Investigation. During his career at St. Jude, and prior to that at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), he has mentored many individuals, with more than 90 percent of his students and fellows remaining engaged in academic hematology-oncology or gene therapy research at leading research institutions worldwide. Some of his trainees have gone on to become presidents and directors at academic institutions or cancer centers, NIH Institute directors, department chairs, and editors-in-chief of Blood and Seminars in Hematology. According to one of his former trainees, "Despite his being incredibly busy, even when he was president of ASH, he always had time to chat."

Drs. Nienhuis and Orkin will be formally presented with their awards prior to the Plenary Scientific Session on Sunday, December 6, at 1:30 p.m. in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

The ASH Mentor Award was established in 2006 to recognize hematologists who have excelled at mentoring trainees and colleagues. Those selected to receive the award are chosen because they have shown a sustained commitment to mentoring, have made a significant, positive impact on their trainees' careers, and have advanced research and patient care in the field of hematology through their trainees and their trainees' trainees. Two awards are given each year, one in the basic sciences and one in clinical investigation and training. Awardees are selected from a group of candidates nominated by individuals whose careers they have helped shape.


Contact: Patrick C. Irelan
American Society of Hematology

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