Emmanuelle Passegué Awarded Dameshek Prize for Outstanding Contributions to Hematology

Dr. Passegué wins annual Dameshek Prize for research advances in hematology.

Emmanuelle Passegué, PhD, a member of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) at Columbia/NewYork-Presbyterian has been awarded the annual William Dameshek Prize for outstanding contributions to the understanding of hematopoietic stem cells. The annual award is bestowed by the American Society of Hematology (ASH), and will be presented to Dr. Passegué at ASH’s annual meeting and exposition, to be held Dec. 10 in Orlando, FL. 

Dr. Passegué directs Columbia’s Stem Cell Initiative and is Alumni Professor of Genetics & Development at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. With this prize, ASH is paying tribute to Dr. Passegué for her contributions to advancing ourunderstanding of the biology of blood-forming stem cells, focusing on changes that happen to stem cells in the contexts of myeloid malignancies and physiological aging. Notably, she discovered a potential strategy for correcting impaired blood production in the elderly by identifying specific biological mechanisms that are altered when stem cells age and become dysfunctional. 

Her lab at Columbia studies how hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs)--which produce all of our blood and immune cells--regulate blood production during the lifetime of an ever-changing organism. This fundamental question is central to tissue development, maintenance, and regeneration, and has implications for every aspect of adult physiology ranging from response to stress, development of diseases, and biology of aging.

In a study published in June, Dr. Passegué and collaborators discovered how our hematopoietic stem cells cheat death with a unique mechanism that shields them from a form of cell death called necroptosis . Their findings could lead to new therapies for blood cancers and other diseases related to aging and improve stem cell transplantation. 

The Dameshek Prize is awarded each year to an early- or mid-career hematologist who has made a recent outstanding contribution to the field of hematology. The award is named after the late William Dameshek, MD, a past president of ASH and the original editor of the Society’s flagship journal, Blood