The American Society of Hematology Honors Betty S. Pace, MD, with the New ASH Award for Leadership in Promoting Diversity
Published on: August 24, 2017
(WASHINGTON, August 24, 2017) – The American Society of
Hematology (ASH) will honor Betty S. Pace, MD, of Augusta University with the inaugural
ASH Award for Leadership in Promoting Diversity for her extraordinary commitment
to diversity and inclusion in hematology.
The ASH Award for Leadership in Promoting Diversity was established
by the Society to recognize hematologists who have supported the development of
an inclusive hematology workforce, encouraged the career development of
underrepresented minority trainees, or made a commitment to inclusiveness
through contributions in support of ASH’s mission. ASH President Kenneth C.
Anderson, MD, will present this award to Dr. Pace on Sunday, December 10, at 1:30 p.m. during the 59th
ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta.
Dr. Pace, a prominent national sickle cell disease
researcher, is the Interim Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Francis J.
Tedesco Distinguished Chair, and Director of the Pediatric Sickle Cell Program at
University in Augusta, Georgia. She also serves as Professor of
Pediatrics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Graduate Studies at the
Dr. Pace has dedicated significant time to mentoring and
promoting diversity in hematology research for more than two decades. From
early in her career, she worked to attract minority students from high schools
and undergraduate programs to biomedical research. Among the 80 individuals
that Dr. Pace has trained personally during her academic career, 45 percent
have been underrepresented minorities. Additionally, 60 percent of her
publications have included minority trainees and collaborators.
At the University of Texas at Dallas, where she worked
from 2003-2010, Dr. Pace created a talent pipeline of minority students who
received training in her laboratory. To further enhance training and
mentoring opportunities for underrepresented minority junior faculty members,
Dr. Pace received grant funding from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood
Institute in 2006 to establish the Summer Institute Program to Increase Diversity
for those studying red blood cell disorders. Later, she continued the program, renamed Programs to Increase Diversity of
Individuals Engaged in Health-related Research (PRIDE),
at Augusta University. These two
programs have provided mentoring, education, hands-on laboratory training, and
grant-writing workshops to 76 junior faculty including a significant number of
hematologists from academic institutions across the country.
Dr. Pace has served as a member of the ASH Committee on
Promoting Diversity, which is responsible for advising ASH in its efforts to
improve minority recruitment in hematology research and practice in the United
States and Canada. She has also served as a mentor for the Minority Medical
Student Award Program, which was designed to introduce minority medical
students to hematology.
Dr. Pace has received numerous other awards for her
accomplishments, including the Lifetime Diversity Champion Award from the
University of Texas at Dallas and Medical College of Georgia’s 2013 Basic
Science Research Award. Most recently, she was honored during the Black History
Month Faculty Recognition Celebration at Augusta University.
“Dr. Pace has spent a lifetime supporting the development of
an inclusive hematology workforce and has encouraged the career development of
a multitude of underrepresented minority trainees,” 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. “It is my
great pleasure to recognize her with the inaugural ASH Leadership in Promoting
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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Sara Khalaf, American
Society of Hematology