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Early-Career Investigator Awards and Training Programs

African Visitor Training Program - Stossel Award

Dr. Stossel with a group of children
Thomas P. Stossel (1941-2019) at Kasisi
Children’s Home, Zambia

Dr. Thomas P. Stossel was an inventor, medical researcher, writer, and past president of the American Society of Hematology. He was professor emeritus of medicine at Harvard Medical School and professor emeritus of clinical research at the American Cancer Society, where his pioneering research in leukocyte phagocytosis and cell movement earned him widespread recognition. Dr. Stossel was also a past editor-in-chief of Current Opinion in Hematology; past editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation; past president of the American Society for Clinical Investigation; and recipient of two prestigious ASH Honorific awards – the William Dameshek Prize (1983) and the E. Donnal Thomas Lecture and Prize (1993).

Dr. Stossel, along with his wife, Dr. Kerry Maguire, co-founded Options for Children in Zambia, which provides dental and medical preventive care and other services where they are most needed. He also established ongoing SCD research and clinical collaborations with physicians at the University of Zambia.

This award acknowledges the impact of Dr. Stossel’s career and deep commitment to improving hematology patient care in Africa, reflecting his outstanding achievements and enduring legacy in the field of hematology.

The African Visitor Training Program (AVTP) Stossel Award is intended to build hematology capacity in Africa, focusing on regional priorities and collaboration. The AVTP provides funding for hematologists, scientists, or laboratory staff working in hematology in Africa to receive 12 weeks of training at selected centers of excellence in the region.

Upon completion of the training, participants return to their home institutions to implement the skills and knowledge they have learned, ultimately helping advance hematology patient care across the region.

Please note that if you are selected for this program, you may select your own training dates (with the approval of your Training Coordinator) any time within one year of receiving the award.

Key Dates

Application Available April 2024
Application Deadline September 1, 2024
Applicants Notified July 2025

The program covers round-trip airfare, accommodations, and daily living expenses for the duration of the training.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants to the AVTP must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a hematologist or hematology-related health care professional working in a hospital or a research institution in Africa.
  • The candidate must represent an institution that currently operates a SCD unit or department or is in the process of developing one and has the capabilities to implement the necessary procedures.
  • Applicants may be at any stage in their career (excluding trainees and fellows) and do not need to be an ASH member.
  • Must be proficient in English. Arabic proficiency preferred for the Egyptian site.

Criteria for Evaluation, Selection, and Notification

The ASH International Members Committee (IMC) oversees the AVTP and selects participants. Applicants will be notified of the IMC's decision by the end of July, in the year following the application submission. Please note that if you are selected for this award, you may schedule your training dates (pending approval by the Training Coordinator) anytime within one year of receiving the award.

Training Programs

Participants in this 12-week training program will receive hands-on training in the following:

Week 1: Theoretical background

  • Genetics and pathophysiology of SCD
  • Clinical presentation
  • Acute and chronic complications
  • Diagnosis of SCD
  • Management of SCD

Week 2: Outpatient clinic

  • Patient follow-up
  • Monitoring treatment compliance
  • Emergency management
  • Patient awareness
  • Family counseling
  • Prenatal and natal counseling

Week 3: Laboratory

  • CBC follow-up and interpretation
  • Screening tools (sickling test)
  • Diagnostic tools (Alkaline Electrophoresis, HPLC, and Capillary Electrophoresis Scheme)

Week 4: Inpatient Wards

  • Daily patient encounter
  • Indications of SCD patient hospitalization
  • Indications of blood transfusion
  • Drug choice
  • Staff discussion

Week 5: Blood Bank

  • Blood donation and blood screening
  • Preparation of blood components
  • Cross-matching
  • Patient registry for repeat transfusions

Week 6: Apheresis Unit

  • Indication of apheresis in SCD
  • Patient preparation
  • Apheresis instrument adjustment and operation
  • Attending apheresis session

Week 7: Inpatient Wards

  • Daily patient encounter
  • Management of complications (paint crisis, acute chest syndrome, priapism, hemolytic crisis, Chelation therapy for chronic iron overload)
  • Participation in SCD trials
  • Staff discussion

Week 8: Radio-diagnosis Department

  • Ultrasound
  • Transcranial Doppler
  • Bone imaging
  • T2* MRI

Week 9: Inpatient Wards

  • Daily patient encounter
  • Management of complications
  • Participation in SCD trials
  • Staff discussion

Week 10: Intensive Care Unit

  • Indications of SCD patient admission
  • Management of SCD patients
  • Monitoring progression and improvement

Week 11: Stem Cell Transplantation Unit

  • Indications of transplantation in SCD
  • Patient selection
  • Donor selection
  • Patient preparation
  • Monitoring of recovery

Week 12: Inpatient Wards

  • Daily patient encounter
  • Management of complications
  • Participation in SCD trials
  • Staff discussion

Week 1: Introduction, Blood Transfusion

  • Overview of screening
  • Red cell typing
  • Alloantibodies screening

Weeks 1-6: Preparation of blood smear and interpretation

Weeks 1-7: Laboratory diagnosis of SCD

  • POCTs
  • CAE
  • IEF

Weeks 2-7: Training on Standard of Care guidelines for management of SCD

Weeks 2-11: Laboratory

  • Sample collection
  • Processing and analysis

Weeks 2-12: Clinic and Ward Rounds

  • Hematology
  • Pediatrics

Week 4: Case Presentations

  • Selected cases from emergency, inpatient, and outpatient focusing on diagnosis and treatment

Weeks 6-11: Genetic counseling for SCD

  • Newly diagnosed patients
  • Intending couples
  • Parents of new patients
  • Complications

Week 8: Case Presentations

  • Selected cases from emergency, inpatient, and outpatient focusing on diagnosis and treatment

Week 12: City Tour

  • Biorepository
  • Newborn screening sites

How to Apply

Step 1: Confirm your eligibility to participate in the program. Review the eligibility requirements above to determine if you are eligible.

Step 2: Identify which site you’d like to apply to. Please consider which training program will most benefit hematology patient care at your hospital or institution. Your hospital/laboratory must have the infrastructure to support and implement the training you receive.

Step 3: Complete the application and ensure the required documentation is submitted by the deadline. The AVTP application, as well as the supporting documents below, must be submitted electronically through the online application portal. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

  • Applicant's Curriculum Vitae
  • Home Institution Support Form (Must be completed and submitted directly by the applicant’s supervisor. Applicants do not have access to this document.)
  • Home Institution Letter of Recommendation (Must be written and submitted directly by the applicant’s supervisor.)

Applications for the African Visitor Training Program will open in April 2024

Program Evaluations

AVTP awardees are required to complete evaluation forms at one month, six months, and one-year post-training. In order to ensure timely completion of these evaluations, it is important that you inform ASH staff (contact information below) of your specific training start and end dates.

Reminders to complete the program evaluations will be sent via email at the appropriate intervals following your training. The evaluation forms can be accessed via the ASH Awards Portal, under "My Evaluations".

The purpose of the evaluations is to:

  • Measure the degree to which the participant was able to implement, at their home institution, the training received during the AVTP experience.
  • Give the participant an opportunity to provide feedback on their personal experiences with the program.
  • Allow the participant to express any issues that have arisen since returning to their home institution concerning the implementation of skills and procedures learned.
  • Assess the impact of the program on the participant's professional career.


For other questions, please contact Erin Sheek, International Programs Manager, at [email protected]