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ASH Honors Pioneers in Hematology Research

This year the American Society of Hematology (ASH) is awarding its Henry M. Stratton Medal, a research award, to David Ginsburg, MD, and Richard Aster, MD. The award is named for Henry Maurice Stratton, the late co-founder of Grune and Stratton, the medical publishing house that first published ASH’s journal Blood. The prize honors senior investigators whose contributions to hematology are well recognized and have taken place over a period of several years. This is the first time the award has been given to two individuals.


Ginsburg is the James V. Neel Distinguished University Professor of Internal Medicine, Human Genetics, and Pediatrics at the University of Michigan and an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Aster is a Professor of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Senior Investigator at the Blood Research Institute of the BloodCenter of Wisconsin.


Ginsburg, a member of ASH since 1985, will receive the 2012 Stratton Medal for Basic Research for his pioneering scientific contributions to the understanding of the molecular and genetic basis of inherited bleeding and clotting disorders, such as combined factor V/factor VIII deficiency, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and von Willebrand disease (VWD). Ginsburg’s breakthrough findings include linking mutations in the von Willebrand factor gene to various subtypes of VWD.       


Ginsburg has chaired several ASH committees. He is an inductee of the Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences, and has won several prestigious awards. Ginsberg is also being recognized for mentoring many notable scientists and clinicians in hematology.


Aster, an ASH member since 1964, will receive the 2012 Stratton Medal for Clinical/Translational Research for his many breakthroughs related to the characterization of numerous platelet-based conditions. During his 25 years as the CEO of the BloodCenter of Wisconsin, he transformed it into one of the world’s premier academic hematology and transfusion medicine research institutes, and the top NIH-funded blood center in the country.


Aster was responsible for defining and making clear distinctions between a number of platelet disorders and conditions. His work has lead to an enhanced understanding of the molecular science underlying platelet-specific immune responses and the effect certain drugs have on platelet counts and function. Aster has written more than 300 scientific papers, including 43 published in Blood. He has been honored with many awards, including the prestigious NIH Merit Award.


“Drs. Ginsburg and Aster have made remarkable advances in hematology and the Society is honored to award them with the Stratton Medal for their contributions to the field,” said ASH President Armand Keating, MD, of Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. “Their achievements have advanced our understanding of how genes play an important role in inherited disease and have led to safer blood transfusions that have saved countless lives around the world.”


Ginsburg and Aster will accept their awards on December 11, 2012, during the 54th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta, GA.


Source:, August 27, 2012

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