American Society of Hematology

Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology

Wallace H. Coulter

Wallace H. Coulter

First awarded in 2007, the Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology, the Society's highest honor, recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a lasting commitment to the field of hematology through outstanding contributions to education, research, and practice. The prize is named for Wallace Coulter, an engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur who applied engineering principles to solving biomedical problems. It commemorates Mr. Coulter's important innovations in diagnostic and investigative medicine in the 20th century and his impact on the disciplines of cell biology, hematology, immunology, and oncology, as well as on industrial processes.

Mr. Coulter was a prolific inventor and entrepreneur best known for developing the Coulter Principle — a technology used to count and size cells or particles as they flow through an aperture. The Coulter Principle led to major breakthroughs in science, medicine, and industry. Its first application, the Coulter Counter, provided the first high-throughput, standardized method to count different types of blood cells, revolutionizing the medical community's ability to screen for diseases through a simple blood test. The use of the Coulter Principle also modernized industry by establishing the reference method for quality control and standardization of particles used in paint, ceramics, toners, chocolate, beer, and even the purity of rocket fuel.

Coulter Corporation was a pioneer in the development of monoclonal antibodies and flow cytometry, the technology to assay them. These technologies are used in the characterization and treatment of cancer, leukemia, and infectious diseases. The B-1 antibody (anti-CD20), marketed as Bexxar, developed under Mr. Coulter’s guidance is proving to be a revolutionary treatment for non-Hodgkin small-cell lymphoma. This therapy provides hundreds of patients with hope and an improved quality of life, true to the company's mission of “Science Serving Humanity.”

Wallace Coulter was the only recipient of the ASH Distinguished Service Award for his enormous contributions to the practice of hematology.

Coulter Medal

Wallace H. Coulter Medal

Marc Mellon, one of America's foremost representational sculptors, created the Coulter Medal. His portrait busts, commemorative statues, and other works in bronze exploring the worlds of dance, sport, and family life are displayed in numerous corporate, private, and public collections worldwide.

Many individuals have been recognized and honored with Mellon bronze portrait busts, including Pope John Paul II and George H.W. Bush. More recently, Mr. Mellon's portrait of President Barack Obama was selected by the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee to appear on the front of the 2009 Official Presidential Inaugural Medal.

Coulter Foundation

The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation is dedicated to improving health care through medical research and engineering. Through its partnership with ASH, the foundation has supported numerous programs that further this mission, with an emphasis on funding programs in areas of the world with limited resources. To learn more about the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, visit

Award Recipients

Wallace H. Coulter Award Recipients

back to top