(WASHINGTON, July 22, 2014) -- The American Society of Hematology (ASH) today announced that it will recognize Geraldine P. Schechter, MD, of the Washington Veterans Affairs Medical Center and George Washington University, and Timothy Springer, PhD, of Harvard Medical School, with the 2014 Henry M. Stratton Medal for their seminal contributions in the areas of clinical hematology and basic hematology research, respectively.
Each year ASH honors two senior investigators, one in basic research and the other in clinical/translational research, with the Henry M. Stratton Medal for their well-recognized contributions to hematology. The award is named after the late Henry Maurice Stratton, co-founder of Grune and Stratton, the medical publishing company that first published ASH's journal Blood.
Dr. Schechter, the recipient of the 2014 Stratton Medal for Clinical Science, is the former Chief of Hematology at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, DC, where she has served for more than 40 years, and Professor Emeritus of Medicine at George Washington University. Dr. Schechter earned her medical degree from Columbia University in 1963 and completed her internship and assistant residency at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. Following her time at Columbia, Dr. Schechter completed her training in internal medicine and hematology at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Washington, DC.
Since 1974, Dr. Schechter has been the cornerstone of hematologic care at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, helping to advance the diagnosis and treatment of chronic lymphoid malignancies and autoimmune hematologic disorders. In addition to her work in the laboratory and at the patient bedside, Dr. Schechter has become well-known for her enduring mentorship, editorship, and organizational leadership that has touched thousands of hematologists and medical students and has helped shaped hematology as a subspecialty in the United States.
In particular, Dr. Schechter has demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to ASH throughout much of her career, serving on the editorial board of Blood and on several other ASH committees. As a member of the ASH Education Committee from 1994-1997, Dr. Schechter introduced several rigorous review processes that transformed Hematology (the ASH Education Program) into the internationally recognized resource in hematology that it remains today. From 1997-2001, Dr. Schechter served as an ASH Councillor and Executive Editor of Hematology and was honored with ASH's Exemplary Service Award in 2001.
In addition to her membership and involvement in ASH, Dr. Schechter is a member of the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. She is also a former member of the American Board of Internal Medicine. She has received numerous awards for her outstanding merit, including recognition as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians/American Society of Internal Medicine in 2003 and achieving the rank of Master of the American College of Physicians in 2005.
Dr. Springer, the recipient of the 2014 Stratton Medal for Basic Science, currently serves as Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School, as well as Professor of Medicine and Senior Investigator of the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital. Dr. Springer earned his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Harvard University in 1976. He completed his postdoctoral training in England at the University of Cambridge and the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. Following his training, Dr. Springer held a number of academic appointments at Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Boston Children's Hospital.
During his 35-year career, Dr. Springer has focused his research efforts on the basic mechanisms of hemostasis, inflammation, and immunology. Dr. Springer's landmark contributions to the understanding of the structure-function relationship of adhesion molecules, interaction of blood cells with vascular endothelium, and detailed analysis of shear force on von Willebrand factor biology and its cleavage by ADAMTS-13 have helped pave the way for a number of new therapeutic agents. His studies have linked the most rigorous and creative atomic level structural information with broad cellular functions, resulting in profound implications for normal physiology and pathologic states. In addition to these accomplishments, his breakthrough research discoveries have been vital to the development of two FDA-approved drugs.
Dr. Springer's seminal contributions are evidenced through more than 500 publications of his work and his receipt of widespread and prestigious recognition for his research. His research accolades include two National Institutes of Health MERIT Grant awards and his election to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
"I am deeply honored to bestow Dr. Springer and Dr. Schechter with the 2014 Henry M. Stratton Medal on behalf of the Society to celebrate their dedication and commitment to hematology," said ASH President Linda J. Burns, MD, of the University of Minnesota. "Their achievements have not only advanced our understanding of hematologic disease but have also helped foster growth of the hematology subspecialty over the last several decades, resulting in tremendous benefits to both hematologists and their patients."
Drs. Schechter and Springer and will accept their awards at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 9, during the 56th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Francisco.
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) 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. The official journal of ASH is Blood, the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online.