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AACR Congratulates David G. Nathan, M.D., on Receiving Lifetime Achievement Award from ASH

January 24, 2012
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PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research congratulates David G. Nathan, M.D., a member of the AACR Foundation’s Board of Trustees, on receiving the 2011 Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology from the American Society of Hematology.

This award is the American Society of Hematology’s highest honor and is named for Wallace Henry Coulter, a prolific inventor and entrepreneur who made important contributions to hematology and to the American Society of Hematology. The award is presented to someone who has demonstrated a lasting commitment to the field of hematology through outstanding contributions to education, research and practice.

“David Nathan is a true leader in the field of hematology research, and we are pleased that he has been awarded this distinguished honor. His visionary leadership will continue to move the field forward for the benefit of patients not only with hematologic diseases, but also all types of cancer,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR.   

Nathan is president emeritus of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the Robert A. Stranahan distinguished professor of pediatrics and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Throughout the course of his nearly 50-year career, he has made numerous advances in medicine, including the development of the first prenatal diagnostic test for thalassemia and sickle cell anemia, and the introduction of hydroxyurea for the amelioration of sickle cell anemia.

Nathan graduated from Harvard College in 1951, then from Harvard Medical School in 1955. He completed an internship and residency at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (now Brigham and Women’s Hospital) and was a clinical associate at the National Cancer Institute. From 1959 to 1966 Nathan was a hematologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and then became chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Children’s Hospital Boston and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In 1985, he was named physician-in-chief at Children’s Hospital Boston, a position he held until he was named president of Dana-Farber in 1995. He served as president until 2000.

As part of his career-long commitment to clinical research, Nathan chaired the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Panel on Clinical Research in 1997. He is also a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the American Pediatric Society, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. In addition, he has written several books and has published several articles in AACR journals, among others.  Nathan is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Society of Hematology Henry M. Stratton Medal, the National Medal of Science, the Walker Prize of the Boston Museum of Science, the John Howland Medal of the American Pediatric Society and the George M. Kober Medal of the Association of American Physicians.

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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 33,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowships and career development awards to young investigators, and it also funds cutting-edge research projects conducted by senior researchers. The AACR has numerous fruitful collaborations with organizations and foundations in the U.S. and abroad, and functions as the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, a charitable initiative that supports groundbreaking research aimed at getting new cancer treatments to patients in an accelerated time frame. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special Conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care, and Educational Workshops are held for the training of young cancer investigators. The AACR publishes seven major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Discovery; Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Prevention Research. In 2010, AACR journals received 20 percent of the total number of citations given to oncology journals. The AACR also publishes Cancer Today, a magazine for cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers, which provides practical knowledge and new hope for cancer survivors. A major goal of the AACR is to educate the general public and policymakers about the value of cancer research in improving public health, the vital importance of increases in sustained funding for cancer research and biomedical science, and the need for national policies that foster innovation and the acceleration of progress against the 200 diseases we call cancer.

Media Contact:
Tara Yates
(215) 446-7110

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