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The American Society of Hematology Recognizes Laurence Boxer, MD, and Ralph Nachman, MD, for Outstanding Mentorship

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will honor Laurence Boxer, MD, and Ralph Nachman, MD, with 2016 Mentor Awards at the 58th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego for their sustained, outstanding commitment to the training and career development of early-career hematologists.

The ASH Mentor Award was established in 2006 to recognize hematologists who have excelled in mentoring trainees and colleagues. Each year, the Society recognizes two outstanding mentors in 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. Drs. Boxer and Nachman will receive their awards at the Announcement of Awards session at 1:30 p.m., on Sunday, December 4, at the 58th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego.

Dr. Boxer, Professor Emeritus of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the University of Michigan, will be presented with the 2016 ASH Mentor Award for his service as a research mentor, educator, and career advocate to several generations of trainees. During his 40-year career in pediatrics, not only has Dr. Boxer overseen the career development of more than 50 pediatric hematology/oncology fellows he has trained, he has mentored physician scientists broadly across other disciplines as well. Dr. Boxer’s trainees cite his drive and enthusiasm as the critical elements of his influence on their careers. He is well-known for creating a spirit of caring, curiosity, excitement, and creativity within the training environment that fosters enthusiasm for scientific exploration.

At the University of Michigan, Dr. Boxer built a successful research program focused on neutrophil disorders and created a strong infrastructure to support the trainees in the Department of Pediatrics as a whole. Dr. Boxer was instrumental in enabling the University of Michigan to secure a Child Health Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health, and he successfully advocated for a funding mechanism from the National Institutes of Child Health Development (NICHD) that has supported young investigators across the nation for the past 20 years. Dr. Boxer also spearheaded national funding through NICHD and the American Society of Pediatric Department Chairs that supports training promising individuals interested in pursuing clinical research careers. He has served on the evaluation and selection committees for many years and sponsored fellows at his institution and others across the country.

As a long-standing member of ASH, Dr. Boxer has served as an Associate Editor of Blood, as faculty for the Advocacy Leadership Institute, and on multiple committees, including the Publications Committee and the Awards Committee. Dr. Boxer has also served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the Journal of Clinical Immunology, the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, and the American Journal of Hematology. He has also served as Councilor for ASH and the American Pediatric Society and as President of the Society for Pediatric Research. Dr. Boxer has received several awards and honors, including the Midwest Society for Pediatric Research’s Founders Award and the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology’s Distinguished Career Award.

Dr. Nachman, Professor Emeritus of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, will be presented with a 2016 ASH Mentor Award for his many years of guidance and support of students, residents, fellows, and faculty. He is known as a role model in the clinic and a patient teacher of the scientific method. His philosophy is to encourage his mentees to “go to the best places to learn new things,” which has led him to send his students and trainees to learn in the best science labs.

Dr. Nachman has made an immense impact on the practice and science of hematology. In 1973, Dr. Nachman and his then-fellow Eric Jaffe, MD, were the first to develop the technology to culture human vascular endothelial cells from umbilical cords. This discovery led to an explosion of insights in vascular hematology that led to major insights into hemostasis, angiogenesis, and tumor biology. Often, Dr. Nachman would start a research project only to hand it over to the newest student or fellow in his lab so that he or she could have a first-author paper to serve as a launching pad to embark on a promising career.

Dr. Nachman has been a member of ASH since 1976, and during that time has served as an Associate Editor of Blood and has also been a member of the ASH Committee on Investment and Audit since 2007. He is also a member of the American Federation for Clinical Research, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Biological Chemists, and the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Nachman is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including ASH’s Henry M. Stratton Medal, Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian’s Maurice R. Greenberg Distinguished Service Award, and the Association of Professors of Medicine’s Robert H. Williams, MD, Distinguished Chair of Medicine Award. He also served as chairman of Weill Cornell Medicine’s Joan and Sanford I. Weill Department of Medicine from 1990-2007.

“The future of hematology depends on the selfless dedication of mentors like Drs. Boxer and Nachman, whose commitment to grooming future generations of hematologists will lead to important research breakthroughs and advancements in patient care in the years to come,” said ASH President Charles S. Abrams, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania. “Their mentorship and the successful trainee programs that they have developed have set strong examples for all of us in the best practices for engaging young scientists and preparing them to lead our field forward. I am thrilled that ASH is recognizing both of these outstanding individuals for their mentorship efforts.”

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.

Sara Khalaf, American Society of Hematology
[email protected]; 202-552-4925