James Downing to Present Hematology Donnall Thomas Lecture


The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will honor James R. Downing, MD, president and CEO at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital with the 2017 E. Donnall Thomas Lecture and Prize for his discoveries related to the hematopathology and molecular biology of childhood leukemia, the most common pediatric cancer.

Dr. Downing will present his lecture, "The Molecular Pathology of Pediatric Acute Leukemia," on Monday, December 11, at the 59th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta. His lecture will focus on progress that has been made over the last 15 years in advancing our understanding of pediatric acute leukemia and how this information is increasing cure rates.

This lectureship and prize is named after the late Nobel Prize laureate and past president of ASH E. Donnall Thomas, MD. The E. Donnall Thomas Lecture and Prize recognizes pioneering research achievements in hematology that represent a paradigm shift or significant discovery in the field.

Dr. Downing, who began his career in 1981 after graduating from the University of Michigan with undergraduate and medical degrees, has focused his work on acute lymphoblastic leukemia and acute myeloblastic leukemia with a particular emphasis on the so-called core-binding factor leukemias. He pioneered the concept that the tools of advanced genomics could be used to better predict disease prognosis.


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