In 2006, the European Society of Hematology (EHA) and ASH introduced the EHA-ASH Research Exchange Award, a groundbreaking award for both clinical and laboratory-based researchers in training or early in their careers. This award offers them an opportunity to experience research in a different environment and to establish new collaborations with established scientists from around the world. We are pleased to announce the 2009 EHA-ASH Research Exchange Award recipients are Freda Passam, MD, PhD, and Carmen Schweighofer, MD. 

Dr. Passam is currently a research fellow in the Hematology Department at the University Hospital of Crete, Medical School of Crete in Greece. Dr. Passam began her hematology training under home mentor, Michael Alexandrakis, MD. As her mentor, Dr. Alexandrakis supported Dr. Passam’s basic research project at St. George Hospital in Australia under the supervision of Steven Krilis, PhD, a world leader in the antiphospholipid syndrome. As a result of this research experience and her clinical experience from training in the routine coagulation laboratory, Dr. Passam developed a strong interest in the field of hemostasis and thrombosis. Dr. Passam’s eventual goal is to organize a Thrombosis Section at the University of Crete; however, since the opportunities for research in hemostasis and thrombosis are limited in Crete, Dr. Passam will need experience in an international research center. In July, this award will enable Dr. Passam to take her research project, “Role of the thiol isomerase ERp5 in thrombus formation,” to the Research Center of Thrombosis and Hemostasis at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA, to develop under the guidance of Bruce Furie, MD.

Dr. Carmen Schweighofer comes from the University of Cologne in Germany. Dr. Schweighofer earned her degree in medicine, graduating with honors, at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Medical School in Munich, Germany. She began her residency and fellowship in internal medicine and hematology/oncology at the University of Cologne under home mentor Michael Hallek, MD. During her fellowship, Dr. Schweighofer began serving as a trial investigator within the German CLL Study Group, where she gained extensive clinical experience and a strong understanding of clinical and translational needs and challenges. It is her overall goal to serve as a liaison between basic and clinical research in CLL, and, therefore, she is motivated to continue to pursue intensive training in laboratory-based research, specifically cytogenetic studies. Dr. Schweighofer will be taking her research project, “Genomic aberrations predict outcome in patient with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) treated with frontline FCR chemoimmunotherapy,” to M. D. Anderson Cancer Center under the mentorship of Lynne Abruzzo, MD, PhD. The host laboratory of Dr. Abruzzo is focused on molecular cytogenic features of CLL and lymphoma and offers a unique opportunity for basic research in a scientifically diverse and clinically well-grounded environment, which will benefit not only Dr. Schweighofer, but also the University Hospital of Cologne.

ASH and EHA are pleased to support the research of these promising young investigators through this unique award.

Important Dates for the 2009 EHA-ASH Research Exchange Award

  • Letter of Intent Due: May 15, 2009

  • Full Proposal Deadline: September 2009

  • Notification of Awards: January 2010

  • Activation of Awards: July 1, 2010

North American and European hematologists who are beginning their careers are encouraged to apply.