Jump to Main Content


David Scadden, MD, to Present the 2016 American Society of Hematology E. Donnall Thomas Lecture

E_ Donnall Thomas - David Scadden

(WASHINGTON, August 4, 2016) The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will honor David Scadden, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School with the 2016 E. Donnall Thomas Lecture and Prize for his work on the bone marrow hematopoietic microenvironment.

This lectureship and prize is named after the late Nobel Prize laureate and past president of ASH E. Donnall Thomas, MD. The E. Donnall Thomas Lecture and Prize recognizes pioneering research achievements in hematology that represent a paradigm shift or significant discovery in the field. 

Dr. Scadden will present his lecture, “Bone Marrow: Structure and Function of the Blood Cell Foundry,” at 9 a.m. on Monday, December 5, at the 58th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego. His lecture will focus on progress that has been made in understanding the components of bone marrow, the logic that underlies bone marrow function, and how bone marrow contributes to blood diseases and their treatment. 

Dr. Scadden, Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Stem Cells and Regenerative Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University has focused his studies on bone marrow and stem cell transplantation. Among his most important scientific discoveries, Dr. Scadden demonstrated that the bone marrow microenvironment can be the cause of myelodysplasia and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In this landmark study, published in the journal Nature in 2010, he demonstrated that a single genetic lesion in a specific subset of cells in the bone marrow in mice can result in a myelodysplastic phenotype and the emergence of AML. Dr. Scadden also co-authored a study on the first experimental evidence of a stem cell niche in mammals. In his other work, he defined the functional microanatomic architecture of the bone marrow, showing how specific subsets of cells position themselves in the marrow and how oxygen is distributed. 

Dr. Scadden founded and leads one of the nation’s first regenerative medicine centers, the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He also co-founded and co-directs the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the largest stem cell research and therapeutic development program in the world. Dr. Scadden began his career in 1980 after graduating from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 1983 before joining the faculty of Harvard Medical School in 1986.

He is a member of ASH, and has served on several ASH committees, including serving as the current chair of the Publications Committee. Dr. Scadden has served in leadership roles for the International Society of Stem Cell Research and the International Society for Experimental Hematology. He is also an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association of American Physicians, and the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Cancer Institute, the Board of External Experts for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and on the advisory boards for many medical and stem cell centers around the world. He has served on numerous editorial boards, including Cell Stem Cell, Blood, Stem Cells and Stem Cell Reports.

Dr. Scadden is the recipient of many prestigious awards. His most distinguished awards include ASH’s William Dameshek Prize, the Doris Duke Innovation in Clinical Research Award, the Gerald and Darlene Jordan Professor of Medicine Chair at Harvard, and honorary doctorates from Lund University and Bucknell University.

“Dr. Scadden’s contributions to the study of the bone marrow microenvironment and stem cell biology are prodigious and have brought us closer to identifying novel approaches for treating blood diseases. Through his innovative research methods, he has revealed vital foundational insights that touch on a wide range of health issues,” said ASH President Charles S. Abrams, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania. “I am honored to recognize Dr. Scadden as a pioneer in our field by presenting him with one of the Society’s most prestigious awards.”

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