I am honored to announce that this year’s recipients of IACA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions to Hematology-Oncology are Dr. Sagar Lonial and Dr. Vikram Mathews.
Dr. Sagar Lonial is the Chair of the Department of Hematology & Medical Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine and Chief Medical Officer at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. He is internationally recognized as a leading authority in multiple myeloma treatment and research. He completed his Hematology-Oncology training at Emory University, and prior to that received his internal medicine residency at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. There he spent an additional year as a Chief Medical Resident at the Ben Taub General Hospital as well as the Texas Heart Institute and St. Luke’s Hospital. Dr. Lonial has worked in the field of immunotherapy and cancer since his arrival at Emory, and in the previous 3 years has spent time developing the B-cell malignancy program with respect to novel targeted agents in laboratory models as well as early clinical trials. Dr. Lonial’s previous laboratory work has focused on evaluating the impact of purified dendritic cell subsets on the nature of immune responses against antigen, and he has completed several trials evaluating the impact of cytokines on dendritic cell content and post transplant immune recovery. Most recently, Dr. Lonial has focused on combinations of novel agents as therapy for myeloma and lymphoma, particularly evaluating combinations that may result in synergistic inhibition of the PI3-K/Akt pathway. His lab has recently received funding from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, the Lymphoma Research Foundation, and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Dr. Lonial has authored or coauthored over 200 peer-reviewed publications.
Dr. Vikram Mathews is the Head of the Department of Hematology at Christian Medical College, Vellore. He is internationally recognized as a leading authority in leukemia treatment and research. Following completion of his specialty training in Clinical Hematology under the guidance of Dr. Mammen Chandy, he spent three years in Washington University in St. Louis as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Timothy Graubert and Dr. John DiPersio. During this period, Dr. Mathews was trained in stem cell and leukemia biology and was involved in establishing mouse models of some of these conditions and in evaluating stem cell plasticity. He has since worked and published on various aspects of diagnosis, prognostication, and treatment of acute leukemia in India. An innovative therapeutic strategy and novel protocol of using arsenic trioxide as frontline therapy in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) was reported by Dr. Mathews’ team. Dr. Mathews has conducted both single and multi-center clinical trials with this agent in India. The cost effective therapy has been widely cited and was instrumental in moving this drug to frontline therapy worldwide in the treatment of APL. He is currently involved in evaluation of mechanisms of resistance in leukemia with a focus on the role of microenvironment on drug resistance leukemia. Dr. Mathews has published their work on the mechanism of resistance to arsenic mediated by the environment and strategies that can overcome it in Leukemia 30(11), 2169-2178. Dr. Mathews and his team have translated this work into an ongoing clinical trial and reported on promising data from that study in Blood 128(22), 446-446.
Past recipients of IACA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions to Hematology-Oncology include Dr. Nikhil Munshi, Dr. Ranjana Advani, Dr. Vincent Rajkumar, Dr. Mohandas Narla, and Dr. Sundar Jaggannath. We hope you will join us this year to honor Dr. Sagr Lonial and Dr. Vikram Mathews and take part in hearing their incredible stories.
Dr. Swaminathan P. Iyer
Houston Methodist Hospital