Nathan to receive ASH Lifetime Achievement Award
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will present the 2011 Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology, the Society's highest honor, to David Nathan, MD, former physician-in-chief at Children's, president emeritus of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the Robert A. Stranahan Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Nathan was also honored last month on the occasion of his 45th year with Children's.
Throughout the course of his nearly 50-year career, Nathan has made numerous advances in medicine, including his team's development of the first prenatal diagnostic test for thalassemia and sickle cell anemia and the introduction of hydroxyurea (HU) for the amelioration of sickle cell anemia. In collaboration with his trainees, Nathan also developed the first successful treatment for iron overload, subcutaneous deferoxamine, for thalassemia patients undergoing chronic transfusion therapy.
In addition to his research achievements Nathan has trained, supported, and mentored more than 100 hematologists, many of whom currently hold leadership positions in internal medicine and pediatrics.
Nathan began his career after graduating from Harvard College in 1951 and from Harvard Medical School in 1955. He completed an internship and residency at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (now Brigham and Women's Hospital) and was a clinical associate at the National Cancer Institute. From 1959 to 1966, Nathan was a hematologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and then became chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Children's and Dana-Farber. In 1985, he was named Physician-in-Chief at Children's, a position he held until he was named president of Dana-Farber in 1995. He served as president of Dana-Farber until 2000.
As part of his career-long commitment to clinical research, DNathan chaired the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's Panel on Clinical Research in 1997, which recommended new types of grants to support clinical researchers, made changes in the NIH study section process, established a loan forgiveness program for clinical investigators, and increased funding for clinical research. Nathan's leadership on the panel led to beneficial changes for investigators at all career stages and in all research fields and advanced support for clinical research at the national level.
Nathan is also a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the American Pediatric Society, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.
Among the other honors Nathan has received are the ASH's Henry M. Stratton Medal, the National Medal of Science, the Walker Prize of the Boston Museum of Science, the John Howland Medal of the American Pediatric Society, and the George M. Kober Medal of the Association of American Physicians.