Leadership in Science Award | Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation (AAMDSIF) Return to top.

Leadership in Science Award

Recipients are selected for their unique contributions to bone marrow failure disease treatment or research and their commitment to the mission of AAMDSIF.

2024 Guillermo Garcia-Manero, MD

Professor, Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine and Chair of the Section on MDS at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

The AAMDSIF Leadership in Science Award was presented to Guillermo Garcia-Manero at the 9th International Bone Marrow Failure Disease Scientific Symposium in March 2024. Dr. Garcia-Manero is a professor in the Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Chair of the Section of Myelodysplastic Syndromes.  His research focuses on improving outcomes and quality of life of patients with leukemia and MDS by studying the molecular basis of these diseases and by developing new therapeutic alternatives for patients.  
Dr. Garcia-Manero also directs the MDS/AML Moon Shot program at MD Anderson, which is designed to greatly accelerate the pace of scientific discoveries and the transition of new therapeutics to the clinic.  The Moon Shot program has resulted in over 500 publications in the areas of biology, therapy and prognostication of these disorders and the development of multiple clinical trials.  
Dr. Garcia-Manero has presented at numerous professional education and patient education programs for AAMDSIF and he has been a member of our Medical Advisory Board since 2007.  

2022 Amy DeZern, MD, MHS

Associate Professor of Oncology and Director of the Bone Marrow Failure and MDS Program at the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland

The AAMDSIF Leadership in Science Award was presented to Amy DeZern, MD, MHS, at our 8th International Bone Marrow Failure Disease Scientific Symposium.  Dr. DeZern is Professor of Oncology and Director of the Bone Marrow Failure and MDS Program at the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland.  Her research has focused on designing and conducting clinical trials to investigate novel therapies and approaches in the treatment of aplastic anemia and MDS.  Dr. DeZern’s work is significantly changing the standard of care for aplastic anemia, with specific expertise in the treatment of relapsed and refractory severe aplastic anemia and the use of alternative donor bone marrow transplantation.  She has been a Principal Investigator for numerous MDS clinical trials and collaborative research studies to develop new therapies and translate them to clinical practice. Dr. DeZern has also demonstrated the role of specialized testing to distinguish cellular marrow failure disorders as well as genetic evaluations for patients with both inherited and acquired bone marrow failure.  She has been a member of the AAMDSIF Medical Advisory Board since 2013.

2020 Pamela Becker, MD, PhD

Professor of Clinical Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UC Irvine; Affiliate Professor, University of Washington School of Medicine

Dr. Becker is a pioneering leader in translational research and optimizing therapy of hematological malignancies.  She is a highly respected clinician with expertise in acute myeloid leukemia, multiple myeloma, bone marrow failure, including aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, and Fanconi anemia
Her research focus includes the mechanism of adhesion mediated chemotherapy resistance in AML; hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy for Fanconi anemia; and the application of precision medicine to hematologic malignancies through genomic analysis, gene expression analysis, and in vitro high throughput drug sensitivity data to optimize treatment.
Dr. Becker is also one of the original members of the AAMDSIF Medical Advisory Board, serving since it was formed in 1993.  

2017 Valeria Santini, MD

Associate Professor of Hematology, University of Florence, Italy

Dr. Santini leads the MDS program in the Hematology Unit at the Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Careggi Medical School, University of Florence. She was recognized for her scientific interests and publications focused on maturation induction and therapeutic targeting of epigenetics modifications, myeloid leukemias, and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).

A member of the AAMDSIF Medical Advisory Board, Dr. Santini is also a member of the European Society of Hematology (EHA), the Scientific Committee of the European School of Hematology (ESH), and the American Society of Hematology. She has been an invited speaker at numerous international meetings including the European Hematology Association, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology, the AAMDSIF International Scientific Symposium and national hematology societies of several countries (Spain, France, Argentina, Brazil, Poland, Thailand, Lebanon, Slovenia).

Dr. Santini has served for two terms on the executive board of the Italian Society of Haematology and she has been Vice-president of the Italian Society of Experimental Haematology and Vice President of the Fondazione Italiana Sindromi Mielodisplastiche (FISM). She is also an author of more than 140 peer-reviewed papers published in international journals.

2015 David Steensma, MD, FACP

Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Steensma is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Attending Physician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. His primary area of clinical activity and research focus is myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and related conditions, and he was honored for his focus on the development of new therapies and discovery of new somatic genetic mutations critical to understanding the pathobiology of myeloid neoplasms.   

Dr. Steensma is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and a member of the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the European Hematology Association, and the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society.  He is a member of the editorial board of 5 journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Leukemia Research, and Haematologica, and has more than 150 publications in peer-reviewed journals including BloodLancet, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Leukemia.  His laboratory and clinical research has been funded by the National Cancer Institute and by several philanthropic groups.  His primary clinical and research focus is myelodysplastic syndromes, and he also maintains an active interest in non-malignant hematology, especially disorders of red cells and therapy of cancer-associated anemia.

2014 Alan List, MD

President and CEO, Moffitt Cancer Center

President and Chief Executive Officer of Moffitt Cancer Center, Dr. List is internationally recognized for his many contributions in the development of novel, more effective treatment strategies for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). His pioneering work led to the development of lenalidomide (Revlimid®) from the laboratory to clinical trials, which went on to receive fast-track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and approval for the treatment of patients with MDS and multiple myeloma. This work transformed the natural history of MDS from a premalignant condition that progressed to malignancy requiring aggressive treatment to a condition managed in the outpatient setting with oral agents.

A member of the AAMDSIF Medical Advisory board, he is the author of more than nearly 300 peer-reviewed articles and the Clinician’s Manual on Myelodysplastic Syndromes (2008). He is an active member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology; American Society of Hematology; American Association for Cancer Research; International Society for Experimental Hematology; JP McCarthy Foundation Medical Advisory Committee; and the Southwestern Oncology Group. Dr. List is also a frequent presenter at AAMDSIF conferences, and appears on AA&MDSIF webinars.

2013 Mikkael A. Sekeres, MD, MS

Associate professor of medicine and Director of the Leukemia Program, Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute

Dr. Sekeres is associate professor of medicine and Director of the Leukemia Program, Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders with the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Ohio. He earned a medical degree and a master’s in clinical epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed his postgraduate training at Harvard University, finishing an internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellowship in hematology-oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. A frequent speaker and presenter for AAMDSIF patient and family conferences and webinars, and webcasts and videos for both patients and health professionals, he is co-chair of the AAMDSIF medical advisory board (MAB), and also co-chair of the MDS Clinical Research Consortium.

2010 Jaroslaw Maciejewski, MD, PhD

Chairman of Translational Hematology and Oncology Research at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, and a professor of medicine at Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Maciejewski is recognized for his leadership in finding better treatments and a cure for bone marrow failure diseases, as well as his commitment to cultivating a new generation of researchers in his lab.  He also provides the highest quality care and compassion to his patients and the AAMDSIF community. His clinical areas of expertise include bone marrow failure syndromes - aplastic anemia, MDS, large granular lymphocyte leukemia, PNH and myeloid malignancies. His research includes the molecular pathogenesis of these disorders and various specific aspects of stem cell biology, genetics, cytogenetics and immunobiology.

2009 Richard Stone, MD

Clinical Director of the Adult Leukemia Program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Attending physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School

Dr. Stone cares for patients with acute and chronic leukemias, myelodysplasia and myeloproliferative disorders. Dr. Stone conducts clinical and translational research with the goal of deriving better outcomes for patients with these disorders. His laboratory research focuses on the mechanism of leukemic cell differentiation, with the ultimate goal of producing new cancer therapies.

2008 H. Joachim Deeg, MD

Medical Oncologist, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Professor of the Medical Oncology Division at the University of Washington Medical School, Member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Clinical Research Division

A long‐time friend of AA&MDSIF, Dr. Deeg brings a beacon of hope for patients and their families facing MDS through his research and his personal care,  Highly regarded for his outstanding contributions as a researcher and clinician, Dr. Deeg specializes in treating blood disorders, bone marrow transplant, leukemia and myelodyplastic syndromes (MDS).