The American Society of Hematology Honors Victor Hoffbrand, DM, FRCP, FMed Sci, with the Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology
(WASHINGTON, August 14, 2018) – The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will recognize Victor Hoffbrand, DM, FRCP, FMed Sci, of University College London with the 2018 Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology. Dr. Hoffbrand will be honored for his significant contributions to hematology in research, patient care, and education throughout his 55-year career.
“I am extremely honored to receive the Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology, and I am humbled when I see the list of the distinguished previous award winners,” said Dr. Hoffbrand. “I am particularly delighted to receive an award named after Wallace Coulter, since it was the ability to count blood cells that first attracted me to hematology as a scientific discipline.”
The Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology, the Society’s highest honor, is named after the late Wallace Coulter, a prolific inventor and engineer. He is best known for developing the Coulter Principle, which revolutionized the use of basic blood tests to screen for disease by making it possible to count and size blood cells as they flow through an aperture. This award commemorates Mr. Coulter’s innovative spirit, visionary leadership, and entrepreneurship, and is bestowed on an individual who has demonstrated lifetime achievement and leadership in education, research, mentoring, and practice. ASH President Alexis Thompson, MD, MPH, of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago will present Dr. Hoffbrand with his award on Sunday, December 2, during the 60th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego.
Dr. Hoffbrand is celebrated for his significant contributions to education. Throughout his career, he authored and edited several of the leading hematology textbooks. Notably, he jointly wrote two standard undergraduate textbooks, Hoffbrand’s Essential Haematology and Haematology at a Glance. Essential Haematology, in its seven editions, has been translated into 14 languages. A third book, The Color Atlas of Clinical Hematology offers an illustrated encyclopedia of hematologic diseases, with over 3,000 images. He has also edited all seven editions of the British textbook, Postgraduate Haematology. His textbooks have received multiple prestigious awards and are recognized as some of the most influential books in hematology education.
Dr. Hoffbrand’s research interests are broad and have spanned three major research areas: megaloblastic anemia, malignant hematology, and iron chelation. Of note, his clinical research in iron chelation led to the licensing of the first oral iron chelator, deferiprone, which was more tolerable than the only other such medicine available and therefore contributed to longer life expectancy for people with thalassemia major. Early in his career he established the first reliable method of measuring red cell folate, an indicator of folate deficiency, and elucidated the DNA defect in megaloblastic anemia. Later on, Dr. Hoffbrand and a team of researchers pioneered the use of biochemical, immunological, and molecular diagnostic markers to classify leukemias and lymphomas and performed early tests for minimal residual disease in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. They also established one of the first bone marrow transplantation centers in the United Kingdom and demonstrated that T-cell depletion of donor marrow could prevent graft-versus-host disease.
Through much of his career, Dr. Hoffbrand dedicated himself to training future generations of hematologists in research and in clinical hematology. His efforts spanned the globe, with trainees and research fellows from the United Kingdom and 41 additional countries, notably Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Italy, many of whom are now heads of hematology departments.
“Dr. Hoffbrand’s text books have had a profound influence on thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate students worldwide, and through his teachings he encouraged many of us to become hematologists,” said Dr. Thompson. “He exemplifies a lifetime of achievement in hematology, and I am looking forward to honoring his contributions in front of thousands of my peers this December.”
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (www.hematology.org) is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood. For 60 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. ASH publishes Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online. In 2016, ASH launched Blood Advances (www.bloodadvances.org), an online, peer-reviewed open-access journal.
Sara Khalaf, American Society of Hematology