Physician-Geneticist Stuart H. Orkin Receives Pristigious Allan Award Award at ASHG 2014 Annual Meeting

The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) has named Stuart H. Orkin, M.D., David G. Nathan Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Chairman of the Department of Pediatric Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Associate Chief of Hematology/Oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Boston Children’s Hospital, as the 2014 recipient of the annual William Allan Award. The Allan Award, which recognizes a scientist for substantial and far-reaching scientific contributions to human genetics, was established in 1961 in memory of William Allan, M.D. (1881-1943), one of the first American physicians to conduct extensive research on human genetics and hereditary diseases. Dr. Orkin received his award, which included an engraved medal and $10,000 monetary prize, on Monday, October 20, 2014, during the ASHG’s 64th Annual Meeting in San Diego. He will present his William Allan Award address immediately thereafter. Dr. Orkin has pioneered research into the genetics behind blood diseases, including identifying the primary mutations (genetic changes) that cause them, defining factors that regulate how these mutations are expressed in blood cells, and applying their findings to medicine. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dr. Orkin and colleagues comprehensively defined mutations that lead to the thalassemias, a collection of inherited conditions in which the body produces too little of the oxygen-carrying molecule hemoglobin, which leads to anemia. In the mid-1980s, Dr. Orkin’s laboratory was the first to successfully clone a gene causing a disease (chronic granulomatous disease) without already knowing the protein coded for by the gene. Their approach to mapping mutations has since been used in similar studies of other genetic disorders. More recently, Dr.
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