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We Got the Beat!

MMMM d, yyyy
Natasha Szuber, MSc, MD, (@NatashaSzuber)
Department of Hematology, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, Montreal, Canada

“See the people walking down the street/Fall in line just watching all their feet … They got the beat.” That’s right. Gonna drop a Go-Go’s ref just like that to kick off the 2023 ASH News Daily run! I hope you’re cool with that. Because to me, this year’s annual meeting is giving off post-punk, rock n’ roll, new wave, fast-paced, genre-busting, forward-thinking, larger-than-life, vitally charismatic, water-skiing in perfect formation ENERGY. And guess what? We’re all writing our own lyrics, playing our own instruments, and performing our own songs. Bold concept, right? Whether it be a racing heartbeat, drumbeat, rocking out to the beat, or marching to your own beat, sing it all together now, “Yeahhh! We got it!” 

Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame 

This year, the ASH program commanded the highest number of abstract submissions. Ever. And it’s not just a numbers game. The caliber of the submissions was outstanding, topping the charts, and propelling this year’s program into a metaphorical hematological Hall of Fame. Good thing we all bought our tickets in advance because, otherwise kids, this would be a sold-out gig. 

Spinning Their Debut Album (Welcome the Trainees!) 

Trainees are sure to find their groove at the acclaimed ASH-a-Palooza (CoaSHchella just doesn’t have the same ring), delivering bursts of micro-learning, mentoring sessions, career-development advice, and didactic sessions, in addition to unbeatable networking opportunities (overkill yet on the ‘beat’ theme?). 

Fusion, Eclecticism, and Cross-over Collabs: the Sounds of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)  

Get ready to break down the barriers and deconstruct inequities in hematology. The goals: Advance inclusion, expand our toolbox, and actively advocate for each other and for our patients. Many voices, one anthem. In tune with this, ASH has increased resources for members of the community with disabilities and has planned a rich lineup of sessions highlighting DEI. These include a Scientific Workshop on enhancing DEI in clinical trials on December 8, a Special Scientific Session and Health Equity Rounds Lunch (both on December 10), a Wake Up to DEI Networking Breakfast on December 11, and the ASH Health Equity Studio. Don’t miss the preview from Joselle Cook, MBBS, another member of the ASH News Daily editorial team, for your full DEI guide. Finally, follow the sounds of those glorious power chords marking the Women in Hematology Networking Dinner, also on December 11, featuring panel discussions as well as rockin’ networking opportunities.  

The Headliners 

The Education Program, Scientific Program, and abstracts form an embracive, star-studded hematologic festival spanning classical and malignant, adult and pediatrics, basic science, and clinical arenas. Hitting a high note are the patient-centered outcomes research categories that are incredibly informative. Emerging themes this year include novel approaches and technologies applied to classic diseases, practice-changing as well as practice-reaffirming trials, and identifying practices of underuse (i.e., is less more … or is turning your amp up to 11 guaranteed to provide one louder?). And just as we champion the indie bands and underdogs, rare diseases rightfully shine through this year, claiming their spot in the limelight (be sure to read the riff on this topic from Diego Adrianzen Herrera, MD, MSc, in ASH News Daily’s Saturday edition). On December 10, it’s safe to say you’ll catch me crowd-surfing at the Plenary Scientific Session, which promises to thrill, enlighten, inform, and just plain rock our world. And on December 11, prepare to be inspired by the wisdom of honored awardees at the E. Donnall Thomas and Ernest Beutler lectures – fan favorites.  

Cue the Pyrotechnics 

… for key Special Interest Sessions! My picks include the 2023 ASH Guideline Implementation Champions and Maternal Health: Fertility Preservation in Hematology Care sessions on December 10, and the 2023 ASH Choosing Wisely Champions and Guidelines on Venous Thromboembolism: What’s New on December 11. 

What’s on Your Rider?  

Eating well, mindfulness, and stress management should be on the top of all of our lists (oh, and strictly no brown M&Ms). From Saturday through Monday, the ASH Wellness Studio provides your daily dose of “an oasis in chaos” with capsules such as tension timeout, yoga, and finding stillness in the busyness. This is the perfect remedy for when the bustle of the meeting (or that rockstar lifestyle) catches up to you. And don’t forget to throw on your kicks, grab your rhythm section (or a friend), and head for the ASH Foundation Run/Walk on December 10. 

The Stage Show Everyone’s Buzzing About 

The Presidential Symposium on December 12 promises to be a pitch-perfect review on complement cascade and targeted inhibitor drugs that have and are continuing to change the history of complement-driven diseases.  

In the Studio 

Want to meet the equivalent of the producers of the most revered albums of all time; aka the editors of Blood and Blood Advances (cue a real-life fangirl squeal!), and hobnob with the freshest faces, the editors of the newly launched journals Blood Vessels, Thrombosis & Hemostasis (Blood VTH) and Blood Neoplasia? Then join us at the Blood Journals Studio, open December 9 through December 11.   

Fresh Cuts and Returning Classics 

New features ASH News Daily will be premiering this year include candid “10 Questions With” interviews with esteemed ASH leaders, “Tips of the Day,” and a special surprise prepared by Deputy Editor Juliana Perez Botero, MD, appearing in Sunday’s edition (trust me, though my lips are sealed, this is going to earn her gold-record status!). And don’t forget crossword frontman, David Steensma, MD, who is guaranteed to steal the show in Saturday’s edition of ASH News Daily (one of my personal favorites!). 

So as we, your devoted roadies, journalists, session musicians, and crew, that is, your Editorial Board here at ASH News Daily, excitedly prepare to get the show of a lifetime on the road, we want to welcome and thank YOU, our beloved and loyal reader. We look forward to getting down into the mosh pit and fighting our way backstage — all for you, and all in the name of rock n’ roll (er, I mean, science). And when you need to go solo, we remind you there are a record number of options this year to connect to the virtual platform. We also would love for you to connect with us on social media as we become each other’s biggest fans! So, what are you waiting for?! Everybody get on your feet!  

We got the beat.  


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