ASH will be presenting Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) with the 2019 Public Service Award, and former National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Training and Hematology Program Director Terry Bishop, PhD, and former National Cancer Institute (NCI) Program Director William Merritt, PhD, with the 2019 Outstanding Service Award. They will be honored in Hall D of the Orange County Convention Center, Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
The ASH Public Service Award, established in 1998, is presented each year by the Society to an elected U.S. public official who has been an effective advocate for government support of biomedical research and hematology practice. Rep. Cole served as Chair of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee from 2015 to 2018, and currently serves as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee. He has dedicated continuous efforts to advocating for increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and under his leadership NIH received increases totaling more than $9 billion in the past four fiscal years. Rep. Cole has also denounced proposed cuts to NIH funding as “short-sighted” and has pledged to provide sustained funding for the institutes.
The ASH Outstanding Service Award is presented annually to individuals in the public or private sector who have worked tirelessly “behind the scenes” to raise public awareness in areas relevant to the Society’s mission. This year, ASH is recognizing two NIH officials with long careers dedicated to diligent mentorship and advocacy for hematology research.
Dr. Terry Bishop joined the Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases (KUH) of the NIDDK as a Training and Hematology Program director in 2001. The program supports research on hematopoietic stem cells and their differentiation into blood cells. Additionally, her work at NIDDK includes developmental hematopoiesis, erythropoiesis, globin gene regulation, heme biosynthesis, and cell differentiation. Dr. Bishop oversees the Centers of Excellence in Molecular Hematology, Hematology Training, and Career Development, several hematology conference grants, the KUH loan repayment pro- gram, and the MERIT program. She has been involved with numerous ASH projects and initiatives, including writing for The Hematologist, providing updates on NIDDK’s hematology efforts at Committee on Government Affairs meetings, serving as faculty for the ASH Clinical Research Training Institute (CRTI), and participating in an array of ASH training- related programs and activities.
Dr. William Merritt has worked at NCI’s Clinical Grants and Contracts Branch (CGCB)/Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) as program director since 2006. His focus has been on managing a large portfolio of clinical grants in the areas of stem cell transplantation and immunotherapy and drug therapies for hematologic malignancies. He has been active in managing the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network, the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant, and the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network. Previously, Dr. Merritt served as a scientific review administrator for the NCI’s Division of Extramural Activities, primarily managing the review of clinical P01 applications. Dr. Merritt has attended ASH Committee on Government Affairs meetings in recent years to provide updates on NCI’s hematology-focused activities, and like Dr. Bishop, he also served as ASH CRTI faculty. Additionally, he has been a speaker at Career Development Lunches held at the ASH annual meeting.