ASH Honors David Grimwade PhD with the 2016 Exemplary Service Award
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will recognize the late David Grimwade, PhD, formerly of King’s College London and Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust with the 2016 Exemplary Service Award for his exceptional years of service and dedication to the Society’s global programs that serve to build hematology capacity and launch research careers worldwide.
The Exemplary Service Award was established in 1998 to recognize an individual whose outstanding service, extending over a period of years, has significantly advanced the interests of the Society. ASH President Charles S. Abrams, MD, will present this award during the 58th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition this December in San Diego, California.
Dr. Grimwade, who served as professor of molecular hematology in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at King’s College London and honorary hematologist consultant at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London, is recognized for playing a key role in the International Consortium on Acute Leukemia (ICAL), an international clinical network supported by ASH that seeks to improve the care of patients with acute leukemia.
Dr. Grimwade was selected for this honor prior to his passing. ASH will be honoring him posthumously in recognition of the profound impact that he has made during his services to ASH. Since joining ICAL as a member in 2007, Dr. Grimwade was dedicated to sharing his expertise with his Latin American colleagues. In 2013, he was selected to be the chair of the Laboratory and Diagnostic Activities Subcommittee. During his time in this role, he demonstrated excellent leadership and commitment to helping laboratory personnel in Latin American ICAL countries strengthen their techniques and diagnostic capabilities, which led to significant improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of acute leukemia in that region.
Most recently, Dr. Grimwade coordinated the participation of the ICAL laboratories in the United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Schemes. Through this independent quality control program, ICAL laboratories in Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Peru receive performance feedback from experienced scientific staff to improve molecular diagnostic capabilities necessary for implementing the ICAL’s new protocol for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. In addition, he worked with his ICAL colleagues to develop a chemotherapy-free protocol for the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia. He was instrumental in adapting the protocol to local circumstances and making it as user-friendly as possible. Following Dr. Grimwade’s advice, the consortium approved switching to the National Cancer Research Institute’s treatment schedule, which involves far fewer day-care visits and is associated with less toxicity than other treatment options.
Dr. Grimwade also made a tremendous impact in the Translational Research Training in Hematology (TRTH) program, a program of ASH and the European Hematology Association, which is focused on helping early-career scientists build successful careers in hematologic translational research. He was steadfastly dedicated to this program and easily gained the respect of his colleagues and the TRTH participants, which made him an outstanding mentor. Starting in 2013 as a TRTH faculty member, Dr. Grimwade became co-director in 2015 and in this role was responsible for planning the program, which included leading the study section, recommending the faculty participants, planning the course curriculum, and leading the spring workshop and two follow-up sessions. In addition, Dr. Grimwade was instrumental in the creation of a streamlined system for reviewing applications, which resulted in improved efficiency of the study section process.
“It is a privilege to recognize Dr. Grimwade for the Exemplary Service Award for his selfless dedication to the International Consortium on Acute Leukemia and Translational Research Training in Hematology programs. The generosity and commitment that he demonstrated by devoting so much of his energy and expertise to helping others made him a role model for us all,” said ASH President Charles S. Abrams, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania. “Without his immense dedication to the field and to ASH, these two programs could not have evolved to enhance the study and practice of hematology all over the world. We will remember his commitment, friendship, and service, which have made a vast difference to hematologists and patients everywhere.”
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