The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will present the 2016 William Dameshek Prize to Charles Mullighan, MBBS (Hons), MD, of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, for his leadership in defining the landscape of genetic alterations of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), which has provided valuable insight into the genetic basis of this disease, particularly high-risk and relapsed ALL in children and adults.
The William Dameshek Prize is awarded to an ASH member under the age of 50 who has made a recent outstanding contribution to the field of hematology. This prize is named after the late William Dameshek, MD, a Past President of ASH and the original editor of Blood. ASH President Charles S. Abrams, MD, will present this award to Dr. Mullighan during the 58th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, California, in December 2016.
Dr. Mullighan is a member of the Department of Pathology and the Co-Leader of the Hematologic Malignancies Program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where his lab uses genome sequencing and experimental modeling to understand the molecular basis of ALL. Dr. Mullighan has identified new subtypes of this disease, which has led to multiple new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. He has also discovered relationships between certain genetic alterations and relapse. With this work, Dr. Mullighan is leading the charge to develop new targeted therapies to improve patient outcomes, particularly in children and adults with genetically defined subsets of ALL that are associated with poor prognoses. Several of his findings have been incorporated into precision medicine trials of ALL in children and adults domestically and internationally. His studies have served as a model for fellow researchers and pathologists in other areas in hematology, including acute myeloid leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloproliferative neoplasms.
Dr. Mullighan received his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Adelaide in Australia. He completed his internship and residency at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and received advanced training in hematology and hematopathology at the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science and the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Dr. Mullighan currently serves as the Chair of the ASH Committee on Scientific Affairs. Dr. Mullighan is also a member of the International Society for Stem Cell Research and the American Association for Cancer Research. He has also served on numerous editorial boards, including those of Blood, the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, and the Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology. His most distinguished awards include the Meyenburg Award for Cancer Research, the Society for Pediatric Pathology Lotte Strauss Prize, the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology Ramzi Cotran Young Investigator Award, and election to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and American Association of Physicians. ■