Freda K. Stevenson, DPhil
Brunangelo Falini, MD
THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HEMATOLOGY (ASH) will recognize Freda K. Stevenson, DPhil, of the University of Southampton and Southampton University Hospitals in the United Kingdom, and Brunangelo Falini, MD, of the University of Perugia and the Institute of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation in Italy, with the 2018 Henry M. Stratton Medal for their contributions to basic and clinical/translational hematology research during the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Diego this December.
The Henry M. Stratton Medal is named after the late Henry Maurice Stratton, cofounder of Grune & Stratton, the medical publishing house that first published ASH’s journal Blood. The prize honors two senior investigators whose contributions to basic and clinical/translational hematology research are well recognized and have taken place over a period of several years.
Dr. Stevenson is being recognized for her work in the biology of B-cell malignancies, such as lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). She is credited with the discovery that CLL consists of two significantly different subsets, has designed gene-based vaccines that work against tumor antigens, and was the first to propose and test an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody for patients with multiple myeloma. Her other notable contributions include the discovery of a lymphoma-specific sugar target of follicular lymphoma on B-cell receptors.
Dr. Falini has made contributions to the understanding of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and hairy cell leukemia. His work in the field of hybridoma technology led to the generation of monoclonal antibodies that are widely used in the diagnosis of hematologic malignancies. His discovery of NPM1 mutations in AML suggested a new mechanism for disease formation in about one-third of patients with this malignancy. Dr. Falini is also credited with leading a team that discovered the BRAF V600E mutation as the causal genetic event of hairy cell leukemia, which led to the establishment of the first molecular diagnostic test for this malignancy.
Alexis Thompson, MD, MPH
“The discoveries contributed by these two dedicated researchers have exponentially improved the specificity with which we can diagnose and care for our patients with hematologic malignancies,” said ASH President Alexis Thompson, MD, MPH, of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. ■