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Minority Hematology Scholars to Study New Methods for Improving Blood Disease Treatments

(WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2020) — The American Society of Hematology (ASH) is pleased to announce that Gabriela Hobbs, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, and Oluwatoyosi Onwuemene, MD, MS, of Duke University have been selected to participate in the American Society of Hematology-Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program (ASH-AMFDP), a partnership between ASH and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

The program, designed to increase the number of underrepresented minority scholars in the field of hematology with academic and research appointments, provides four-year research awards, totaling $420,000. Drs. Hobbs and Onwuemene will spend at least 70% of their research time under the mentorship of a senior faculty member at their respective institutions.

Dr. Hobbs’ research focuses on integrating molecular genetics into clinical decision making to improve outcomes in patients with myelofibrosis (MF) undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplant (SCT). She aims to assess the impact of cellular composition and persistent molecularly positive disease on clinically important outcomes after transplantation for MF. Dr. Hobbs currently serves as assistant professor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Dr. Onwuemene’s research focuses on developing apheresis-specific outcomes to facilitate a multi-center study of therapeutic plasma exchange in heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. She aims to determine the serologic effects of therapeutic plasma exchange and intra-operative heparin exposure on post-surgical anti-PF4/heparin antibody levels. Dr. Onwuemene currently serves as assistant professor of medicine-hematology at Duke University in North Carolina.

“Drs. Hobbs and Onwuemene are two dedicated physician investigators who are addressing critical research questions in their respective fields,” said 2020 ASH President Stephanie Lee, MD, MPH of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. “The Society is pleased to support such promising young investigators who will be part of the next generation to propel the science and practice of hematology forwards.”

The ASH-AMFDP program is a component of the ASH Minority Recruitment Initiative, which is dedicated to increasing minority faculty in medical schools to encourage the participation of minority medical trainees in biomedical research.

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 more than 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, as well as the newly launched, online, peer-reviewed open-access journal, Blood Advances (www.bloodadvances.org).

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