(WASHINGTON, July 22, 2014) -- The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will honor Tomas Ganz, MD, PhD, of the University of California - Los Angeles with the 2014 E. Donnall Thomas Lecture for his groundbreaking research in iron homeostasis, including the discovery of the iron-regulatory hormone hepcidin and investigation of its roles in iron metabolism. This award, named after the Nobel Prize Laureate and past Society president E. Donnall Thomas, MD, recognizes pioneering research achievements in hematology that have represented a paradigm shift or significant discovery in the field.
Dr. Ganz will present his lecture, "Iron, Erythropoiesis, and Host Defense: A Ménage à Trois," at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 8, at the 56th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Francisco. His lecture will explore the advances in understanding of homeostatic iron regulation and the iron-regulatory responses to the challenges of acute hemorrhage and acute infection. During his lecture, Dr. Ganz will discuss iron deficiency anemia and anemia of inflammation and will expand upon how their frequency may reflect an evolutionary compromise to provide sufficient iron for essential processes while avoiding the tendency of iron to promote microbial infections and cause tissue injury. He will further elucidate insights into several components of iron regulation and response and discuss how the hormone hepcidin is regulated by erythroferrone, interleukin-6, and, to a lesser extent, other cytokines in response to blood loss and infection. Dr. Ganz's lecture will also touch upon how, as understanding of systemic iron homeostasis and its disorders increases, biological targets for diagnostic and therapeutic applications will be identified.
Dr. Ganz has been the leading scientist in the effort to uncover the molecular basis of iron homeostasis and its disorders. He played a pivotal role in the discovery of hepcidin and continues to lead the way in the ongoing exploration of hepcidin's effects, regulation, and mechanism of action in iron metabolism. Dr. Ganz's scientific approach is based on diverse, sophisticated, and elegant experimental approaches, ranging from molecular analysis of gene and protein regulation in cell lines and transgenic mice, to histopathologic studies and assays of samples from human patients and experimental animals.
Dr. Ganz currently serves as Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) where he also serves as Director of the Will Rogers Pulmonary Research Laboratory and Co-Director of the Center for Iron Disorders. He earned his PhD in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology and his medical degree from UCLA. After completing both his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in pulmonary medicine at UCLA, Dr. Ganz joined the UCLA Department of Medicine in 1983 and has remained there ever since.
The importance of Dr. Ganz's work is evidenced through the publication of his research in many high-impact journals, his involvement in prominent organizations, and his receipt of several prestigious awards. Dr. Ganz is a past president of the International BioIron Society and the recipient of its 2005 Marcel Simon Award for excellence in the research of genetic hemochromatosis. In 2006 he was elected to the American Association of Physicians. Dr. Ganz is also a past recipient of the UCLA Medical Alumni Association Medical Science Award. For many years he served as an Associate Editor of Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology.
"Through his discovery of hepcidin and subsequent study of its mechanism of action, Dr. Ganz has revolutionized the field of iron biology and has transformed the way scientists and clinicians study and treat iron and anemia-related diseases," said 2014 ASH President Linda J. Burns, MD, of the University of Minnesota. "ASH is pleased to be honoring Dr. Ganz for his work that has paved the way for development of new treatments for these disorders."
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.