Public Release: 

Genentech contributes $500,000 to support ASH's Minority Medical Student Award Program

American Society of Hematology

(ATLANTA, December 10, 2005) - Genentech today will donate $500,000 to the American Society of Hematology (ASH) to help fund the Society's Minority Medical Student Award Program (MMSAP). Genentech representatives will formally announce the grant during the Promoting Minorities in Hematology presentation, held during the 47th Annual Meeting of ASH in Atlanta.

The goal of ASH's MMSAP is to motivate minority medical students to enter the field of hematology. The program provides an eight- to twelve-week research experience for students from the United States and Canada in their early medical school years. Participants have the option of applying for an additional hematology research experience in a subsequent year of medical school. Two mentors support each participant - a research mentor, who monitors the participant's work and progress at the institution where the research is being done, and an advisory mentor, an ASH member who has identified himself or herself as a member of a minority group. Up to ten participants are selected for the program each year.

ASH offers a number of award programs designed to attract a greater number of talented students to hematology. The Society has chosen to focus additional recruitment efforts on groups that are underrepresented in hematology through programs such as the MMSAP and the recently announced ASH-AMFDP, a partnership between ASH and the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program (AMFDP) of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which aims to increase the number of underrepresented minority scholars from the field of hematology with academic and research appointments.

The Genentech grant will help support the MMSAP beginning in 2006.

"ASH is extremely grateful for Genentech's generous support of this program," said Dr. James N. George, President of ASH. "The MMSAP, like all of ASH's award programs aimed at young scientists, was created to draw the brightest and most promising researchers into the field of hematology. ASH believes that talented minority medical students should receive extra encouragement to explore careers in hematology. Genentech's donation will make that possible for years to come."

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The American Society of Hematology (www.hematology.org) is the world's largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders. Its mission is to further the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, hemostatic, and vascular systems, by promoting research, clinical care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology.

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