Charles Mullighan Honored With ASH's William Dameshek Prize for Leadership in ALL

December 16, 2016

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) recently presented Charles Mullighan, MD, of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, with the 2016 William Dameshek Prize in recognition of his leadership in defining the landscape of genetic alterations of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).

Charles Mullighan, MD

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) recently presented Charles Mullighan, MD, of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, with the 2016 William Dameshek Prize in recognition of his leadership in defining the landscape of genetic alterations of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).

Mullighan was presented with the award on Dec. 6 during the 58thASH Annual Meeting in San Diego.

The prize, named after the late William Dameshek, MD, a past president of ASH and the original editor ofBlood, is awarded to an ASH member under the age of 50 who has made a recent outstanding contribution to the field of hematology.

Mullighan, a member of the Department of Pathology, and the co-leader of the Hematologic Malignancies Program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, has identified new subtypes of ALL, which has led to multiple new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. He has also discovered relationships between certain genetic alterations and relapse.

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, according to a release from ASH.

Several of Mullighan’s findings have been incorporated into precision medicine trials of ALL in children and adults in the United States 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.

“The Society is honored to recognize Mullighan with the William Dameshek Prize for his outstanding contributions in the area of acute leukemia, which have already influenced many hematologists-in-training to follow in his footsteps,” said ASH President Charles S. Abrams, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania. “Mullighan has established himself as a pioneer in the field of cancer genomics and precision medicine through his studies of ALL. I am honored to present him with this award in recognition of his outstanding contributions so early in his career. His work will continue to make a difference in the way we fundamentally understand and treat children and adults with acute leukemia.”

Mullighan received his bachelor of medicine and surgery degree 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, and his postdoctoral fellowship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Mullighan is an active member of ASH and currently serves as the chair of the ASH Committee on Scientific Affairs, and 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, includingBlood,theEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation,and theJournal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology.

His has received many distinguished awards, including 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.

In addition, Mullighan has mentored numerous postdoctoral fellows and pre-doctoral students in the genomic and experimental approaches used in laboratories, many of whom have entered into MD and/or PhD programs and established their own research programs.