Leukaemia Foundation to support award for world leading haematologists | Leukaemia Foundation

Leukaemia Foundation to support award for world leading haematologists

Wednesday 21 August 2019

Two world leaders in haematology will receive awards supported by the Leukaemia Foundation at this year’s International Society of Experimental Haematology Honorific (ISEH) meeting this week.

Dr David Scadden and Dr David Traver will be presented at ISEH’s Annual Scientific Meeting to be held in Brisbane from August 22-25, where the world’s leading experts will gather to explore the latest advancements in haematological research and medicines.

“Dr Scadden will receive the Donald Metcalf Award. This prestigious award was established 20 years ago in honor of Professor Donald Metcalf, the Australian medical researcher regarded as ‘the father of modern hematology’ for his pioneering work on the control of blood cell formation,” Leukaemia Foundation CEO Bill Petch said.

Dr Scadden’s fundamental contributions in hematology and stem cell biology comes from his work in defining the adult hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) regulatory niche within the bone marrow microenvironment, and its relevance to the onset and treatment of blood cancers.

Dr Scadden holds several positions in the wider academic haematology community and is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University.

Mr Petch said Dr Scadden was a world-leading pioneer of haematological science and his work had paved the way for stem cell research and blood cancers across the globe.

“Dr Scadden’s group demonstrated that disturbances in the bone marrow microenvironment could drive the emergence of myeloid leukaemia, and more recently, that the leukaemic cells themselves continually reshape the niche to support their survival and expansion,” Mr Petch said.

“Understanding how myeloid leukaemia cells survive and grow within the stem cell niche will help inform the development of treatments to target these cells.”

Fellow award recipient, Dr David Traver, who is a professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Cell Developmental Biology at the University of California, will be awarded the McCulloch and Till Award, which recognises early- to-mid-career scientists who have made a substantial impact in the field of haematology.

Dr Traver’s laboratory group identified several key regulatory factors that control the specification and production of HSCs (Haematopoietic Stem Cells), helping to provide answers to many long-standing questions about how HSCs generate.

Mr Petch said the awards recognised the contributions both scientists had made to advancements in haematological medicines.

“It’s an honor to be able to recognise the work of these world leading researchers whose careers have been dedicated to helping pioneer breakthroughs into blood cancers.

Dr Scadden will give the opening address – the Donald Metcalf Award Lecture – at the ISEH conference on August 22 and Dr Traver will close the conference with the McCulloch & Till Award Lecture: Decoding the molecular cues that regulate HSC specification on August 25.

Many Australian clinicians and researchers are presenting at the meeting in Brisbane, including Professor Andrew Roberts, Prof. Mark Dawson, Assoc. Prof. Steven Lane, Assoc. Prof. Andrew Wei, Assoc. Prof. Carl Walkley, Assoc. Prof. Louise Purton, and Dr Gemma Kelly.

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