Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation
Division of Hematology, Oncology
Adult Blood and Marrow
Robert Hebbel, MD – along with Michael DeBaun, MD of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine – presented the 2014 Ernest Beutler Lecture in recognition of their important contributions to the science and treatment of sickle cell disease. The Ernest Beutler Lecture was held at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in December 2014. Dr. Hebbel delivered his half of the lecture on the pathophysiological steps that induce vaso-occulsion in sickle cell disease. Dr. Hebbel is credited with redefining the study of sickle cell disease, broadening our understanding from a narrow look at the biophysics of hemoglobin to include an appreciation of vascular endothelial pathobiology. His observation that red blood cells are abnormally adherent to endothelial cells in patients with sickle cell disease, first reported at the Plenary Scientific Session at the 1978 ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition and later published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in 1980, led to many additional discoveries. This work, largely done in the lab of Dr. Hebbel, culminated in an understanding of sickle cell disease as a unique vascular disorder. “The work of Drs. DeBaun and Hebbel has allowed for a vastly improved understanding of sickle cell disease and exemplifies translational research at its very best,” said ASH President Linda Burns, MD, of the University of Minnesota. “Their research has allowed for the translation of basic laboratory insights to the patient bedside and has resulted in better care for millions of patients with sickle cell disease around the world.” Posted January 2015.
Zohar Sachs, MD, PhD and David Largaespada, PhD received a Translational Working Group Pilot Award from the Masonic Cancer Center. With the support of this award, Drs. Sachs and Largaespada will investigate the molecular mechanisms that allow leukemia stem cells to evade chemotherapy and reemerge as a malignant tumor. Using a unique mouse model of acute myelogenous leukemia, they will characterize the signaling and transcriptional profiles of leukemia cells that persist in vivo during disease remission by using ultra-high parameter flow cytometry (mass cytometry) and single-cell RNA sequencing. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Sachs and Dr. Largaespada on receipt of this award. Posted December 2014.
Emil Lou, MD, PhD received a Mezin-Koats Colon Cancer Research Award from the Masonic Cancer Center. The Mezin-Koats Colon Cancer Research Award, designed to support research that advances the treatment of colon cancer, will support Dr. Lou and his research team in their efforts to determine whether tunneling nanotubes act as a physical conduit for intercellular transfer of oncogenic KRAS and miRNAs in colon cancer. Long and narrow, tunneling nanotubes are membrane structures that provide a physical channel for the transfer of cellular contents from one cell to another. Dr. Lou’s studies will examine the role of tunneling nanotubes in mediating direct intercellular transfer of oncogenic KRAS and microRNAs and their effects on recipient tumor cells. The ultimate goal of Dr. Lou’s project is to establish a novel biologic mechanism of cancer cell communication that can be targeted with inhibitors of tunneling nanotubes. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Lou and his research team on their receipt of a Mezin-Koats Colon Cancer Research Award. Posted November 2014.