The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will recognize Nancy Speck, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and Karl Welte, MD, of Hannover Medical School, with the 2015 Henry M. Stratton Medal for their seminal contributions in the areas of basic and clinical/translational hematology research, respectively.
The Henry M. Stratton Medal is named after the late Henry Maurice Stratton, cofounder of Grune and Stratton, the medical publishing house that first published ASH’s journal Blood. The prize honors two senior investigators whose contributions to both basic and clinical/translational hematology research are well recognized and have taken place over a period of several years. Drs. Speck and Welte will accept their awards on Tuesday, December 8, during the 57th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in Orlando, Florida.
Nancy Speck, PhD
Dr. Speck is Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Pennsylvania and Associate Director of Penn’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine. She co-leads the Hematologic Malignancies Program at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center and is an investigator at the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. Over the course of her 30-year career, Dr. Speck has made key contributions to the understanding of developmental hematopoiesis, as well as the translation of these findings into leukemogenesis. Her contributions to the field include the identification of proteins Runx1 and CBFβ, mutations of which are frequently found in leukemia. Dr. Speck’s careful biochemical and molecular characterization of these factors—both before and after linking them to leukemia—has enabled rapid progress in the understanding of their role in normal and malignant hematopoiesis.
Dr. Speck earned her PhD in biochemistry from Northwestern University and completed postdoctoral research fellowships in retroviral pathogenesis and eukaryotic gene regulation at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and at MIT. She joined the University of Pennsylvania in 2008.
Dr. Speck is a member of ASH and has chaired study sections at the National Institutes of Health and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Karl Welte, MD
Dr. Welte is Senior Professor and Head of the Department of Molecular Hematopoiesis at Hannover Medical School. He has devoted his career to the study of neutrophil development and treatment. Dr. Welte is best known for his groundbreaking work to purify and assess the biochemical characteristics of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and his work to clone and produce recombinant human G-CSF (filgrastim [Neupogen]). He was involved in the design and performance of the phase I–III studies with G-CSF in chemotherapy-induced neutropenias and initiated the first clinical use of G-CSF in congenital neutropenias in Europe. He has also made major contributions to the identification of germline mutations causing congenital neutropenias such as ELANE, HAX1, and G6PC3, as well as aberrant G-CSF signaling in patients with congenital neutropenia. Dr. Welte’s studies of the natural history of leukemia in severe congenital neutropenia have extended to the molecular pathways of leukemogenesis, helping to pave the way for new treatments for the disease.
After earning his medical degree from the Free University of Berlin, Dr. Welte completed an internship at City Hospitals Berlin, a residency in pediatrics at the Free University of Berlin, and fellowships in both pediatrics and molecular biology at the University of Frankfurt. Dr. Welte joined Hannover Medical School in 1987 and became Head of the Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology in 1996. In 2008, he became the first Lower Saxony Professor in Hannover, Germany.
Dr. Welte is a member of ASH, the European Hematology Association, and the German Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, and an elected member of the German Academy of Sciences. ■