Aaron Viny, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and member of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC), has been awarded a prestigious Scholar Award from the American Society of Hematology (ASH). A physician-scientist specializing in leukemia at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Dr. Viny is one of just 36 recipients of the ASH Scholar Award, given annually to support fellows and junior faculty dedicated to advancing translational hematology research.
Dr. Viny joined Columbia in the fall of 2020 from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where he was an assistant member of the leukemia service. He has established a translational research program at Columbia to study the mechanistic and functional role of three-dimensional genomic architecture and dynamic chromatin structure, both normal and malignant hematopoiesis.
The ASH Scholar award will fund Dr. Viny’s study to determine how recurrent mutations in chromatin structural proteins in the cohesin complex orchestrate normal blood cell formation and maturation from bone marrow stem cells. Mutations in cohesin complex proteins are found in various forms of myelodysplasia and leukemia, and his research will focus on investigating the mechanism behind cohesin-mutant cancer and search for new therapeutic targets.
Dr. Viny is honored to share this award with some of his most admired colleagues—and mentors—in the field, Drs. Jaroslaw Maciejewski and Ross Levine. “The ASH Scholar award is like jet fuel to a new investigator,” he says, “with financial support as well as prestige.”
ASH provides $100,000 for the Fellow level, $125,000 for the new Fellow to Faculty Scholars level, or $150,000 for the Junior Faculty level. The awards fund hematologists in the U.S. and Canada who conduct basic, translational, and clinical research that furthers the understanding and treatment of blood disorders.