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ASH Honors Rainer Storb with Mentor Award and Instates Janis Abkowitz as President

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12-10-2012 ASH Honors Rainer Storb with Mentor Award and Instates Janis Abkowitz as President (94kb)

December 10, 2012

American Society of Hematology Honors Physician-Scientist Rainer Storb with Mentor Award and Instates Janis Abkowitz as President

Atlanta, Ga. (December 10, 2012) – Seattle Cancer Care Alliance’s (SCCA) Rainer Storb, MD, was honored at the American Society of Hematology’s (ASH) Annual Conference in Atlanta, Ga., yesterday with its Mentor Award for Basic Science for his continued, outstanding commitment to the training and career development of junior hematologists. ASH will inaugurate Dr. Janis Abkowitz, who runs SCCA’s Hematology Clinic, as its president tomorrow in the traditional passing of the gavel ceremony at the close of the ASH Conference. ASH represents over 16,000 clinicians and scientists, and is the world’s largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatments of blood disorders.  The annual meeting is attended by over 22,000 participants.       

The ASH Mentor Award recognizes hematologists who have had a significant, positive impact on the careers of fledgling hematologists, and through their mentees, have advanced research and patient care in the field of hematology. 

Dr. Storb is a world-renowned scientist, hematopoietic cell transplantation and blood cancer expert. In 1965, he began work in the Division of Hematology at the University of Washington under the mentorship of the late E. Donnall Thomas, MD, and was part of the founding faculty of the Hutchinson Center when they formed in 1975. Since then, he has mentored more than 150 trainees from around the globe. Storb is an attending physician at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, leads Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Transplantation Biology Program and is a Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Washington. 

“I’m heartened that so many members of ASH felt that my mentorship helped shape their careers”, said Dr. Storb. “And I hope that the next generation of hematologists continue to be as excited by research that translates into better patient care.” 

According to his mentees, Dr. Storb is extremely thorough and constructive while challenging his mentees to foster their intellectual growth for future clinical research success. An articulate speaker, Dr. Storb encourages his trainees and encourages them to present their research in a broad array of settings. Like most great mentors, he advocates that they publish their data and apply for independent funding. However, it is his guidance and advocacy throughout these steps which stands out. Dr. Storb’s legacy in the field is evidenced by his distinguished group of trainees who now lead institutes and transplantation centers around the world.

Dr. Abkowitz leads the SCCA’s Hematology Clinic and is the Clement A. Finch Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington and Head of the Division of Hematology. She is also known for her research on hematopoietic stem cell and red cell differentiation which has provided new insights into disorders such as aplastic anemia, myelodysplasia and polycythemia vera. She served this past year as ASH’s president-elect and the year prior as its vice president, and has taken on numerous other positions since becoming a member of ASH in 1983. At the close of the conference, she will officially transition into the President of ASH with the traditional passing of the gavel during the yearly business meeting.

Dr. Abkowitz is enthusiastic about the many opportunities she will have as ASH’s President for continued education, saying, “It’s rewarding to be a part of such an outstanding organization and bring knowledge back to solve my patients’ needs.”

Dr. Abkowitz earned her medical degree at Harvard University before completing her internal medicine residency at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and hematology/oncology fellowship at the University of Washington. She is board certified in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology, is an active advisor to the National Institutes of Health, and is on the editorial boards of Blood and Leukemia.


About The American Society of Hematology

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 50 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient 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.

About Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) is a cancer treatment center that unites doctors from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s. Our goal, every day, is to turn cancer patients into cancer survivors. Our purpose is to lead the world in the prevention and treatment of cancer. SCCA has three clinical care sites: an outpatient clinic on the Hutchinson Center campus, a pediatric inpatient unit at Seattle Children’s, and an adult inpatient unit at UW Medical Center. For more information about SCCA, visit www.seattlecca.org.

Media Contact: 
Joseph Vandenorth
Nyhus Communications for Seattle Cancer Care Alliance