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ASH Scholar Awards History & Timeline

For over 30 years, the ASH Scholar Awards have helped promising hematologists make the difficult transition from postdoctoral researchers to independent investigators. More than 375 Scholar Awards have been provided to date, supporting the tangible needs of researchers and instilling the confidence and mental fortitude in each scholar that comes from having his or her work recognized and validated by established experts in the field. Award recipients are not just given funding but are given the freedom to take risks, follow their instincts, and pursue creative solutions to scientific quandaries. Awardees have gone on to receive more than $1 billion from various funding institutions, including support for over 1,400 R01 grants from the National Institutes of Health.

In addition to the effect the Scholar Awards have had on individual winners, the ripple effect throughout the field is undeniable. Program alumni have reported publishing more than 2,300 manuscripts and receiving more than 80 patents. The continued growth and vitality of hematology is sustained by encouraging and supporting new discoveries and bringing them to the patient – through the diagnosis, treatment, and, ultimately, a cure for some of the most common and life-threatening blood diseases.


  • 1983 The ASH Scholar Awards program, the Society's first career development award, is established and endowed by two of the Society's leaders through the Henry M. Stratton – Ernst R. Jaffe Scholarship Fund
  • 1985 Carol A. Westbrook, MD, PhD, conducts research supported by the first ASH Scholar Award
  • 1994 The Henry M. and Lillian Stratton Foundation provides ASH with an additional endowment – ultimately designated to support the Scholar Awards program
  • 1994 ASH pledges that at least one award a year should be in clinical research
  • 1996 ASH creates a Junior Faculty and a Fellow category for the award
  • 1997 Funding for the ASH Scholar Award quintuples over the last 7 years
  • 1998 ASH increases the number of annual awards to 15
  • 1998 ASH provides support to the 50th Scholar Award
  • 1999 Total funding since inception tops the $5,000,000 mark
  • 2002 In response to a challenge from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to address the nation's clinical research capacity, ASH commits support for clinical research
  • 2002 The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation collaborates with ASH to include clinical/translational research awards in addition to the traditional basic science awards in the ASH Scholar Awards program
  • 2002 ASH provides support to the 100th Scholar Award
  • 2003 ASH creates a formal study section, modeled after the NIH process, for the selection of the ASH Scholar Awards. Steps are taken to minimize bias, increase competition, and add prestige to the awards
  • 2006 ASH establishes the Joanne Levy, MD, Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement, which is granted annually to the current ASH Scholar who has the highest scoring abstract for the ASH annual meeting
  • 2008 ASH provides support to the 200th Scholar Award and doubles support to allow for a 25 person cohort
  • 2011 Total funding since inception tops $25,000,000
  • 2014 ASH provides its 300th Scholar Award
  • 2015 Collaborates with the Jake Wetchler Foundation to award the ASH Scholar with the highest scoring abstract in Pediatric Innovation in AML
  • 2016 ASH provides its 377th Scholar Award