(WASHINGTON, August 1, 2013)--The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will present the 2013 William Dameshek Prize to Andrew S. Weyrich, PhD, of The University of Utah for his seminal research on the cellular and molecular causes of blood clots.
This prize, named after the late William Dameshek, MD, a renowned hematologist, past president of ASH, and the first editor of the Society's journal Blood, recognizes an individual who has made a recent, outstanding contribution to the field of hematology. Dr. Weyrich will accept his award at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 10, during the 55th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans.
Dr. Weyrich, a Professor of Pathology and Internal Medicine at The University of Utah, began his medical career after earning his PhD in Physiology and Pharmacology from Wake Forest University's Bowman Gray School of Medicine in 1991. Following his training at Wake Forest, Dr. Weyrich held postdoctoral fellowships at Thomas Jefferson University and then at The University of Utah, where he remained as a faculty member after postdoctoral training. In 2007 Dr. Weyrich became a tenured Professor of Internal Medicine at The University of Utah School of Medicine, specializing in gross anatomy and gene expression.
Dr. Weyrich has dedicated his career to investigating the evolving role of platelets in inflammation and thrombosis. Among his major contributions to platelet biology research, Dr. Weyrich has successfully identified the mRNA splicing and translational mechanisms that allow platelets to respond to environmental changes. In a landmark discovery published in Cell in 2005, Dr. Weyrich and his team demonstrated that enucleated platelets contain functional spliceosome and cofactors, which are normally detected in nuclei of other cell types. Through this research, Dr. Weyrich determined that spliceosomal activity is vital in generating proinflammatory cytokines and factors critical for extrinsic coagulation. Further, this research provides the physiological mechanism to explain a long-standing observation that protein synthesis occurs in platelets under specific circumstances. Dr. Weyrich's research has very broad implications from basic platelet biology to the role of platelets in the disease process, especially those considered to be outside of hemostasis and thrombosis pathways.
The importance of Dr. Weyrich's work is evidenced through the publication of his research in many high-impact journals, his involvement in ASH and other prominent organizations, and his receipt of several prestigious awards. His research has been published more than 100 times and has appeared in top journals such as Blood, Cell, Circulation, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the Journal of Experimental Medicine, the Journal of Immunology, the Journal of Thrombosis and Hemostasis, and Nature Genetics. Dr. Weyrich recently served as Chair of ASH's Scientific Committee on Platelets and currently serves on the American Heart Association's Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. Most recently, Dr. Weyrich was awarded the Investigator Recognition Award at the XXIII Congress of the International Society on Thrombosis and Hemostasis and received the Outstanding Membership award from The Children's Health Research Center at The University of Utah.
"ASH is pleased to honor Dr. Weyrich for innovative, paradigm-shifting work that has placed him at the forefront of redefining platelet function," said ASH President Janis L. Abkowitz, MD, of the University of Washington. "His outstanding studies have changed our understanding of the hemostatic functions of platelets, and more importantly, the role of platelets in inflammation, infection, and angiogenesis. We look forward to seeing how his work will continue to move the field of platelet biology forward."
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 in hematology. The official journal of ASH is Blood, the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online.