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Summary: 2009-2011 ASH Agenda for Hematology Research

Hematology has a distinguished tradition of fostering new and groundbreaking approaches to biomedical inquiry. It was in recognition of this prominent role in establishing and furthering the biomedical research agenda that the American Society of Hematology undertook a strategic planning initiative to define and promote for our membership and for the research community at large the leading areas of active endeavor in hematologic research. The “American Society of Hematology Agenda for Hematology Research: 2006-2008” was initiated in the fall of 2005 by soliciting a wide input from all members of the fourteen Scientific Committees of ASH. In a collaboration between the Executive Committee and the Scientific Committee Chairs, a draft was developed, edited, and revised to produce the first ASH Agenda. It was always expected to evolve with the changing landscape of hematology research.

This first revision of the Agenda, “American Society of Hematology Agenda for Hematology Research: 2009-2011,” has been modified to reflect current trends in research and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ASH. Although many aspects of the research trajectory remain the same, the document reflects new advances that have widened the field, including new breakthroughs in stem cell research, a renewed commitment to new strategies for understanding sickle cell disease, and disorders of hemostasis and thrombosis. The overriding message, however, remains the same: the recognition of the primacy of hematology research in forging new paradigms in basic, translational, and clinical research.

The following plan for hematology research is divided into two parts. First, we summarize major scientific priorities, including the most promising directions for future hematology research in the areas of hematopoiesis; stem cells; hemoglobinopathies; hematologic malignancies; targeted, cellular, and genetic therapies; immunobiology; thrombosis and vascular biology; and clinical outcomes research. Second, we recommend the most important priorities for the development of research infrastructure to facilitate all areas of hematology research, emphasizing the needs for training and core facilities.

The “American Society of Hematology Agenda for Hematology Research: 2009-2011” is a dynamic document that will be subject to ongoing review and revision. It is intended to provide a strategic framework for research in our discipline, which we believe will continue to make path-breaking advances in understanding, preventing, and treating human disease.