American Society of Hematology

The American Society of Hematology Honors David Ginsburg, MD, and Richard Aster, MD, with 2012 Henry M. Stratton Medal

Published on: August 24, 2012

(WASHINGTON) – The American Society of Hematology (ASH) today announced that it will recognize David Ginsburg, MD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Richard H. Aster, MD, of the BloodCenter of Wisconsin and Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, with the 2012 Henry M. Stratton Medal for their accomplishments in the fields of thrombosis and blood cell immunology.

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 senior investigators whose contributions to hematology are well-recognized and have taken place over a period of several years. This year, for the first time, the Stratton Medal will be awarded to two individuals, one in basic research and the other in clinical/translational research. Dr. Ginsburg will receive the 2012 Stratton Medal for Basic Research for his many seminal scientific contributions in characterizing the molecular and genetic basis of inherited bleeding and clotting disorders. Dr. Aster will receive the 2012 Stratton Medal for Clinical/Translational Research for his many breakthroughs in platelet immunology, mainly in drug-induced antibodies, human leukocyte antigen anti-platelet antibodies, and neonatal thrombocytopenia.

Dr. Ginsburg is the James V. Neel Distinguished University Professor of Internal Medicine, Human Genetics, and Pediatrics at the University of Michigan and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Ginsburg has dedicated his medical career to understanding the clotting system and has made many contributions to the field of hematology, including identifying the genetic basis of numerous clotting disorders, such as thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), combined deficiency of Factor V and Factor VIII, and von Willebrand disease (VWD). Beginning with the cDNA cloning of VWF in 1985, Dr. Ginsburg and his colleagues demonstrated how different mutations in the VWF gene resulted in the variable subtypes of VWD, a focus which also led to his group’s identification and cloning of the ADAMTS13 gene as the cause of TTP.

A member of ASH since 1985, Dr. Ginsburg has served in numerous roles within the Society, including serving as Chair of the Committee on Scientific Affairs, Councillor on the Executive Committee, and a member of the Scientific Subcommittee on Hemostasis (now the Scientific Committee on Hemostasis) and the Scientific Committee on Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

The quality and impact of Dr. Ginsburg’s research have been recognized by numerous prestigious honors and awards. In addition to receiving ASH’s 2000 E. Donnall Thomas Lecture and Prize, Dr. Ginsburg is an inductee of the Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences and has been honored with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Merit Award, the American Heart Association Distinguished Scientists Award, and the American Society for Clinical Investigators ASCI/ Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award. Dr. Ginsburg’s scientific contributions are only a part of his overall impact on the field of hematology. Another important facet of his contributions is evidenced by the numerous scientists and clinicians that he has mentored over the years, many of whom have made remarkable discoveries in hematology.

Dr. Aster is a Professor of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Senior Investigator at the Blood Research Institute of the Blood Center of Wisconsin. As the CEO of the BloodCenter for more than 25 years, Dr. Aster transformed the then local Blood Center of Southeastern Wisconsin into one of the world’s premier academic hematology and transfusion medicine research institutes and the top NIH-funded blood center in the country.

During his more than 40-year career Dr. Aster has been continuously recognized as a scientific leader in hematology and transfusion medicine, bridging the two disciplines together with his work. His accomplishments include the definition of neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenic purpura, post-transfusion purpura, and quinine-induced hemolytic-uremic syndrome as distinct clinical entities, characterization of the molecular basis for many platelet-specific antigens and contributions to the understanding and diagnosis of various forms of drug-induced immune thrombocytopenia.

Dr. Aster has served as an active member of ASH since 1964, contributing scientific content to every annual meeting since joining the Society. He has also served as Chair of the Scientific Subcommittee on Immunohematology, Councillor of the Executive Committee, member of the Awards Committee, and Associate Editor of Blood. Dr. Aster has authored more than 300 scientific papers, which have been published in the world’s premier scientific and clinical journals, including 43 manuscripts published in Blood. He has been honored with the prestigious NIH Merit Award, the Milwaukee Academy of Medicine Distinguished Service Award, the American Association of Blood Banks Bernard Fantus Award Lifetime Achievement Award, and the America’s Blood Centers Thomas F. Zuck Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to his receipt of numerous honors and awards, Dr. Aster has also served as a mentor to countless young investigators who have gone on to have illustrious careers in transfusion medicine.

“Drs. Ginsburg and Aster have made remarkable advances in hematology and the Society is honored to award them with the Stratton Medal for their contributions to the field,” said ASH President Armand Keating, MD, of Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. “Their achievements have advanced our understanding of how genes play an important role in inherited disease and have led to safer blood transfusions that have saved countless lives around the world.”

Drs. Ginsburg and Aster will accept their awards at 9:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, December 11, during the 54th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta.

Reporters who wish to arrange an interview with Drs. Aster or Ginsburg may contact Claire Gwayi-Chore, ASH Communications Specialist, at 202-776-0544 or cgwayi-chore@hematology.org.


The American Society of Hematology (www.hematology.org) is the world’s largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders. Its mission is to further the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, hemostatic, and vascular systems by promoting research, clinical care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. The official journal of ASH is Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online.

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