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ASH Announces New ASH-AMFDP Hematology Scholars

(WASHINGTON, August 23, 2023) — The American Society of Hematology (ASH) is pleased to announce the recipients of the American Society of Hematology-Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program (ASH-AMFDP) Award, a partnership between ASH and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Hermioni L. Amonoo, MD, MPP, of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Pavel Davizon-Castillo, MD, of the University of Washington and Bloodworks Northwest Research Institute.

The ASH-AMFDP Award provides four-year postdoctoral research awards to fellows and aims to increase the number of hematologists from underrepresented backgrounds. Each recipient receives a total of $420,000 over the course of the program, including stipends and research grants, an AMFDP National Advisory Committee mentor, complimentary ASH membership, and support for attendance at both the ASH and AMFDP annual meetings each year of the award.

The ASH-AMFDP program is part of the ASH Minority Recruitment Initiative, which launched 20 years ago this year. The program is dedicated to increasing the participation of underrepresented minorities training in hematology-related fields and the number of minority hematologists with academic and research appointments.

“ASH remains deeply committed to building and maintaining a strong, diverse hematology workforce, a principle imperative to advancing the field,” said ASH President Robert A. Brodsky, MD, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Through our long-standing partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s AMFDP and our efforts with the Minority Recruitment Initiative, we are proud to celebrate and support brilliant hematologists from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds in medicine.”

Dr. Hermioni L. Amonoo, the Carol C. Nadelson, MD Distinguished Chair in Psychiatry at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), is a physician-scientist in the departments of psychiatry at BWH and psychosocial oncology and palliative care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Her research program develops and tests novel psychological interventions and digital therapeutics for patients with hematologic malignancies undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and their caregivers. With the support of the ASH-AMFDP Award, Dr. Amonoo will adapt her positive psychology intervention, PATH, focused on cultivating gratitude, strength, and purpose for caregivers of HSCT survivors and test its feasibility and efficacy in improving caregiver and clinical outcomes.

Dr. Pavel Davizon-Castillo, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics and hematology-oncology at the University of Washington and a pediatric hematologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital, is studying the inflammation-associated metabolic pathways responsible for platelet hyperreactivity and thrombosis in patients with Jak2V617F Polycythemia Vera (PV), a type of blood cancer characterized by excessive blood cell and platelet production that disrupts blood flow. Using the ASH-AMFDP Award, he plans to investigate the metabolic determinants of PV-associated inflammation and identify ways to prevent these platelet-related issues.

Now in its 40th year, the AMFDP of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation welcomed its first cohort of physicians in 1983, with the commitment to mentor individuals from historically disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds to become leaders in academic medicine and science. Over the years, more than three-quarters of the program’s alumni scholars have remained in academic medicine, including 121 professors, 98 associate professors, and 71 assistant professors, as of July 2023. In 2006, ASH became the first professional society to partner with the AMFDP, leading to the creation of the ASH-AMFDP Award, which has since been awarded to 24 hematology scholars and researchers from historically disadvantaged backgrounds. Learn more about the MRI’s 20th anniversary and AMFDP. 

Through various programs and committees, ASH continues its long-standing commitment to combating inequities in hematology, supporting scientists and clinicians from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine, and embracing diverse voices across the patient and health care communities. Learn more about ASH’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in health care.

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’s flagship journal, Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), is the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, and Blood Advances (www.bloodadvances.org) is an open-access, online journal that publishes more peer-reviewed hematology research than any other academic journal worldwide.

Kira Sampson, American Society of Hematology
[email protected]; 202-499-1796