The American Society of Hematology Honors Josef T. Prchal, MD, and Sherrill J. Slichter, MD, with the 2017 Henry M. Stratton Medal
Published on: August 24, 2017
(WASHINGTON, August 24, 2017) – The American Society of
Hematology (ASH) will recognize Josef T. Prchal, MD, of the University of Utah,
and Sherrill J. Slichter, MD, of Bloodworks Northwest and the University of
Washington, with the 2017 Henry M. Stratton Medal for their seminal
contributions in the areas of basic and clinical/translational hematology
The Henry M. Stratton Medal is 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 prize honors two
senior investigators whose contributions to both basic and
clinical/translational hematology research are well recognized and have taken
place over a period of several years. Drs. Prchal and Slichter will accept
their awards on Tuesday,
December 12, during the 59th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta.
Dr. Prchal, the recipient of the 2017 Henry M. Stratton
Medal for Basic Science, is a Professor of Medicine in Hematology, Pathology,
and Genetics at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. During the last 40
years, he has made original and lasting scientific contributions to the study
of a broad range of red cell disorders. In particular, he is highly regarded
for his research on disorders of increased red cell mass, including primary
erythrocytosis/polycythemia, as well as inherited and acquired forms of both secondary
erythrocytosis and polycythemia vera. Dr. Prchal’s research has contributed
substantially to the fundamental understanding of the genetic basis of both
primary and secondary polycythemias. His laboratory described the VHL
mutation in recessive Chuvash familial polycythemia and elaborated on the
pathobiology of EPOR mutations in autosomal dominant familial polycythemia.
His genetic investigations of acquired polycythemia vera led to the
association of chromosome 9p abnormalities with the disease. More recently, he
and his collaborators showed that Tibetans are protected from high altitude
polycythemia as a result of a high altitude genetic adaptation, due to variants
of the EGLN1 gene and EPAS1 haplotype.
Dr. Prchal earned his medical degree from Charles University
in Prague, Czech Republic, in 1968. He completed his residency in internal
medicine at Toronto General Hospital in 1972, his hematology fellowship at
Toronto General and Sunnybrook Hospital in 1975, and a research fellowship with
Ernest Beutler at the City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, California. He
began his academic career at the University of Toronto in 1974.
Dr. Prchal has been a longstanding member of ASH, serving on
the editorial boards for both Blood and The
Hematologist, as well as various committees, including as co-chair of the
Education Program for the 2003 ASH Annual Meeting. In addition to his dedicated
volunteerism with ASH, Dr. Prchal served as the associate editor of Williams
Hematology and Williams Manual (seventh,
eighth, and ninth editions), consulting
editor of The Journal of Clinical Investigation, and has authored several UpToDate chapters.
In addition to the Henry M. Stratton medal, his other most distinguished
awards include the American Cancer Society Scholar Award, the Anniversary Medal
of Charles University for Outstanding Research Accomplishments, and an honorary
doctorate at Palacky University in Olomouc (Alma Mater of Gregor Mendel).
Dr. Slichter, the recipient of the 2017 Henry M. Stratton
Medal for Clinical/Translational Science, is a Professor of
Medicine/Hematology at the University of Washington and Director of Platelet
Transfusion Research at Bloodworks Northwest in Seattle. Dr. Slichter’s major
contributions to the field of transfusion medicine over 45 years have
revolutionized platelet transfusion therapy. She has identified methods to
significantly prolong the shelf life of platelets, determined approaches to
prevent alloimmune platelet refractoriness, identified the minimum number of
platelets required to maintain hemostasis, and provided insights into
understanding platelet production and viability. These long-term studies have
established and improved state of the art practice in transfusion medicine.
After earning her medical degree from George Washington
University in the Washington, DC, Dr. Slichter completed her residency at
Parkland Hospital in Dallas. She went on to complete her fellowship in hematology
and oncology at the University of Washington in 1968, and performed her
extensive platelet research at Bloodworks (formerly Puget Sound Blood Center). She
is currently a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology at the
University of Washington School of Medicine. In 2017, Bloodworks published Dr.
Slichter’s autobiography (Path of
Persistence: Gender Trailblazer and Platelet Pioneer).
Beyond her contributions to transfusion medicine,
Dr. Slichter has been an active member of ASH through committee
participation and leadership and has made numerous presentations at ASH
meetings. She has been honored with many awards including the Karl
Landsteiner Memorial Award from the American Association of Blood Banks, the
James Blundell Award from the British Blood Transfusion Society, Richard J.
Davey Lectureship Award from the National Institutes of Health, the Presidential
Award by the International Society of Blood Transfusion, and the Herbert
Perkins Scientific Lecture Award by the California Blood Bank Society.
“I am honored to present the Henry M. Stratton Medal to Drs.
Prchal and Slichter for their exceptional commitment to research and clinical
care in the areas of red cell disorders and transfusion medicine,” said ASH
President Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, of the Lebow Institute for Myeloma
Therapeutics and Jerome Lipper Myeloma Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
in Boston. “Their lifelong
determination, dedication, and major contributions to hematology have already
and will continue to revolutionize our field.”
The American Society of Hematology (www.hematology.org) is the world’s
largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the
understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the
blood. For more than 50 years, the Society has led the development of
hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education,
training, and advocacy in hematology. ASH publishes Blood (www.bloodjournal.org),
the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available
weekly in print and online. In 2016, ASH launched Blood Advances (www.bloodadvances.org), an
online, peer-reviewed open-access journal.
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