2020 Mentor Award Recipients: Judith Gasson, PhD, and Wendy Stock, MD
ASH will recognize Judith Gasson, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Wendy Stock, MD, of the University of Chicago, with the 2020 ASH Mentor Award for contributing to the professional development of numerous hematology trainees at various stages in their careers.
The ASH Mentor Award was established to recognize hematologists who have excelled in mentoring trainees and colleagues. Each year the Society recognizes two outstanding mentors drawn from the areas of basic science, clinical investigation, education, or clinical/community care who have had a significant, positive impact on their mentees' careers and, through their mentees, have advanced research and patient care in the field of hematology.
Dr. Gasson, the basic science awardee, is a professor emerita and senior advisor to the David Geffen School of Medicine for Research and Innovation at UCLA. Previously, she served as director of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and senior associate dean for research, and co-director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research. Dr. Gasson has devoted her career to the study of cytokine biology in normal and malignant hematopoiesis. She has held numerous leadership positions in national societies including serving on the ASH Advisory Board (1993), the ASH Subcommittee on Hematopoietic Growth Factors as a member (1995-1998) and later as a Chair (1996), ASH meeting session chair, abstract reviewer and Meet the Professor participant. Dr. Gasson’s mentees who remained in academia are continuously funded tenure-track investigators at top tier institutions worldwide. Dr. Gasson is commended for being an energetic leader who brings the best out of her mentees while engendering a familial atmosphere. It is clear that she is deeply invested in her trainees’ professional and personal success.
“Mentorship to me is the ultimate investment in the future. I believe in the power of science to teach and to heal,” said Dr. Gasson. “It is an extraordinary honor for me to be recognized in this way. I am most grateful.”
Dr. Stock, the clinical awardee, is the Anjuli Seth Nayak Professor in Leukemia at the University of Chicago School of Medicine. She is vice chair of the Leukemia and Leukemia Correlative Sciences Committees in the Alliance, a clinical trials cooperative group sponsored by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NCI). She previously served as co-leader of the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center’s Program in Hematopoiesis and Hematological Malignancies for 15 years, as well as co-chair of the NCI national clinical trials network (NCTN) Leukemia Steering committee. Dr. Stock has been involved in many ASH-related trainee activities, including serving as a faculty member on the steering committee for the Clinical Research Training Institute, member of the study section for the Research Training Award Fellowship, and as co-chair of the ASH Education Program. She is widely known to early phase trainees at her institution as the “go-to” faculty member for guidance regarding productive and educational research opportunities. Her mentees hold diverse careers, from basic science-oriented faculty to clinician-educators and clinicians, and some work entirely outside the field of hematology. She has encouraged professional growth within hematology as well as in pharmacology and infectious disease, and she has helped her mentees establish professional relationships to succeed in these fields.
“I think that being a mentor is a most natural and gratifying part of medical training – we depend so much on the wisdom and skill of the generations who came before us in medicine and it feels so good to be part of this natural passage of experience and knowledge,” said Dr. Stock. “Helping people to develop their own clinical and research passions and expertise is so rewarding and completes the circle of academic life. I’m so very honored to receive this very special award.”