ASH Awards Inaugural Giuseppe Bigi Memorial Award in Hematopoiesis and Stem Cells to Marilena Ciciarello, PhD

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The American Society of Hematology (ASH) named Marilena Ciciarello, PhD, of the University of Bologna, the inaugural recipient of the ASH Giuseppe Bigi Memorial Award for Achievement in Hematopoiesis and Stem Cells for her research on the role of stem cells in leukemia initiation and progression. This award is the result of a new partnership between ASH and the Giuseppe Bigi Association to fund Italian trainees in the area of hematopoiesis and stem cells.

Established in 2015, the ASH Giuseppe Bigi Memorial Award in Hematopoiesis and Stem Cells recognizes an Italian trainee (undergraduate, medical, or graduate student, resident physician, or postdoctoral fellow) based at an Italian institution who has the highest-scoring abstract submitted to the ASH Annual Meeting in the field of hematopoiesis and stem cells. The recipient receives a $4,000 honorarium and $1,000 travel allowance to attend the ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition.

About the Award

This annual award is made possible by a grant from the Giuseppe Bigi Association, named for the late Giuseppe Bigi, MD, a well-known Italian scientist. Dr. Bigi served as Associate Professor of Clinical Immunology at the University of Milan from 1985 until his death in 2002 and was one of the first researchers to predict the presence of stem cells in the peripheral blood. Support for the 2015 award was also provided by the IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico Foundation. 

“ASH is grateful for the generosity of the Giuseppe Bigi Association and its dedication to supporting researchers like Dr. Ciciarello who are completing high-caliber work in the area of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine,” said 2015 ASH President David A. Williams, MD, President of Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and Leland Fikes Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. “ASH looks forward to working with the Giuseppe Bigi Association in the years to come to advance hematology research and patient care on an international scale.”

About the Awardee

Dr. Ciciarello is a postdoctoral trainee at the University of Bologna, where she studies mechanisms of cross talk between mesenchymal stromal cells and the leukemic microenvironment with the aim of determining their role in the induction and advancement of acute myeloid leukemia. She is being honored for her abstract, Upregulation of Indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenase Enzymes in Leukemic Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSCs) Can Influence MSC/Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cell Cross Talk (Abstract 1191).  To search for her abstract online, or any abstract presented at the 2015 ASH Annual Meeting, please visit ■