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ASH Agenda for Hematology Research

Infectious Diseases and Hematology


The established relationship between host defense and blood includes complex and pleiotropic roles for both hematopoietic cells and coagulation factors during infection and subsequent immunity. Newly described functions for neutrophils, platelets, red blood cells, and soluble proteins as immunoregulators in both viral and bacterial pathogens suggest evolutionarily conserved interactions representing novel molecular targets that can be exploited for prevention or treatment. The need for knowledge in this area is underscored by global health emergencies including the emergence of coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, which have exposed critical gaps in our understanding of blood and blood vessels.

  • Increase appreciation for the role of hematopoietic stem/progenitor and committed lineage function in responding to bacterial and viral infections and the impact of infectious diseases on stem/progenitor cell and lymphoid function
  • Understand the bidirectional implications of malignant and non-malignant hematologic disease and therapies on infection risks and complications of infectious disease, and risk of hematologic disease from infectious agents
  • Define the vascular response and roles of soluble blood proteins to infectious pathogens
  • Integrate principles in transfusion medicine and diagnostic molecular pathology to develop genomic and serological screening assays to detect infection, to characterize and screen for transfusion-transmission mechanisms and risks, and to develop therapies for emerging and established infections