Division of Hematology & Hematologic Malignancies

The scientific focus of our division is the study of blood and bone marrow in health and disease. Our physicians treat patients with blood cancer, such as leukemias and lymphomas; clotting disorders, such as hemophilia; and diseases of iron metabolism, such as hemochromatosis. Starting with Maxwell Wintrobe, one of the founding fathers of Hematology and the University of Utah Medical School, our division can look back at a long-standing tradition of excellence in research, clinical care and teaching.

Tribute to Dr. John W. Athens

John W. Athens (Jack) died suddenly at his home in Salt Lake City on June 1st.  He was 93 years old. Jack was the Chief of the Division of Hematology from 1967 until 1987. Jack was born near Duluth, Minnesota. His father was an ophthalmologist and his mother was a registered nurse. Jack received his M.D. degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 1948 and interned at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital where contact with Clement Finch and Charles Rath stimulated Jack’s interest in hematology. He was awarded an Atomic Energy Commission Fellowship, which led to an assignment to the Army Medical Services Graduate School where he helped establish a radioisotope laboratory and began his studies of red cell survival using radiolabeling techniques. He then completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Utah and stayed on as a hematology fellow with Drs. Wintrobe and Cartwright.

Jack’s early research at Utah focused on nutritional anemias in pigs due to deficiencies of copper, amino acids and various vitamins. His experience with radiolabeled red cells proved useful and Jack developed a method for radiolabeling neutrophils. In a series of papers published in the early 1960s he demonstrated that two pools of neutrophils exist, one circulating and a second marginated by adherence to vascular endothelium. He showed that these two pools were in equilibrium and that the marginated pool could be readily mobilized under specific conditions. Jack’s studies made it possible to quantify neutrophil production and survival in both normal and disease states. These were seminal observations and many of his publications are considered classics in the field of leukocyte kinetics.

In addition to his research accomplishments Jack was a skilled clinician and a supportive mentor to hematology fellows and junior faculty members. After he retired he continued to attend weekly Medical Grand Rounds and weekly hematology research conferences. He remained fully engaged in the scholarly affairs of the Division of Hematology until his death. We will miss this wonderful colleague and friend.

 Dr. Athens

______________________________________________________________

George Cartwright’s Legacy and the Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies

 Dr. Cartwright

The year 2017 marks the 100th birthday of Dr. George Cartwright who served as the Chief of the Hematology Division from 1950 to 1967 and as the Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine from 1967 to 1980. Our Division celebrates him as an eminent scholar and pioneer of his field who developed the science and clinical practice of Hematology much like a blueprint for other disciplines in medicine. His colleagues and students knew him as a man of insatiable curiosity, creativity, analytical skills and perseverance. A deep thinker always ready to share ideas and to inspire his colleagues to think and develop concepts and hypotheses. An astute clinician and incredibly hard worker with a sense for the joys of life such as skiing at Alta. A kind man of integrity and tireless supporter of talent and scientific quest. As the clinical practice and science of Hematology continues to evolve in the rapidly changing landscape of genetics, rational drug design and health care transformation, our Division honors George Cartwright’s legacy and will continue to push the limits of knowledge in the clinic and in the laboratory. How did Hematology scholars like George Cartwright accomplish so much? I recall a quote from the valediction celebration of my own mentor, John Goldman, at Imperial College in 2003.

The heights by great men reached and kept Were not attained by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night.

--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  

No doubt George Cartwright fits this bill.

Michael Deininger MD PhD
Professor and Chief of Hematology
and Hematologic Malignancies

Latest News

Congratulations Sabari
Recognition
Jun 20, 2017

Congratulations Sabari

Congratulations to Dr. Sabari Radhakrishnan who was awarded a two year American Association for Cancer Research-Pfizer Immuno-Oncology Fellowship. This fellowship was established in 1996 and provides funding to promising young investigators who have strong potential to become productive and successful independent cancer research scientists. Dr. Radhakrishnan's research focuses on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy for multiple myeloma. He has generated multiple CAR T cells targeting a multiple myeloma surface antigen and is testing the efficacy of his CAR T cells in a mouse multiple myeloma model system. ... Read More

Internal Medicine
Congratulations Ami
Recognition
Jun 14, 2017

Congratulations Ami

Congratulations to Dr. Ami Patel who was selected for an ASH training scholarship by the Study Section for the American Society of Hematology's Research Training Award for Fellows (RTAF). ... Read More

Internal Medicine
Welcome Dr. Chahdi
Education, Research
Jun 08, 2017

Welcome Dr. Chahdi

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Ahmed Chahdi to the faculty in the Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies. Dr. Chahdi completed his Ph.D. studies in Cellular Biology and Molecular Pharmacology at the Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg France in 1997. ... Read More

Internal Medicine
Education, Research
Mar 03, 2017

2nd Annual Cancer Immunotherapy Conference

The University of Utah School of Medicine is sponsoring a one-day conference on March 25, 2017 on cancer immunotherapy that will bring together basic researchers and clinicians with an interest in immunotherapies as promising approaches for patients with different types of cancer. The conference will provide an update on the most recent developments in the field of cancer immunotherapy and it will facilitate collaborative efforts between basic tumor immunologists and oncologists/hematologists using novel immunotherapeutic approaches to the benefit of their patients. This conference will help us to identify the most promising immunotherapies for our patients leading to improved outcomes and maybe even cures.... Read More

Internal Medicine
7th Annual Hematology Review
Education, Research
Jan 10, 2017

7th Annual Hematology Review

The Seventh Annual Hematology Review conference will take place February 11, 2017 at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and will feature keynote speaker Jerald Radich, MD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.... Read More

Internal Medicine
7th Annual Hematology Review
Education, Research
Jan 10, 2017

7th Annual Hematology Review

The Seventh Annual Hematology Review conference will take place February 11, 2017 at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and will feature keynote speaker Jerald Radich, MD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.... Read More

Internal Medicine
Recognition, Research
Dec 14, 2016

Congratulations to 2016 ASH Junior Presenters

Congratulations to Hematology faculty and trainees who had delivered presentations at the December 2016 ASH meeting in San Diego CA. Drs. Halwani and Stephens presented their clinical trials research on lymphoma. Clinical Fellow Dr. Ami Patel presented a lecture entitled, "Oral-34: Stroma-Based Activation of pSTAT3Y705 Confers Resistance to FLT3 Inhibitors in FLT3 ITD-Positive AML". Two post-doctoral fellows in the laboratory of Drs. Deininger and O'Hare Dr. Anna Eiring and Dr. Dongqing Yan delivered presentations entitled, " Oral-34: Stroma-Based Activation of pSTAT3Y705 Confers Resistance to FLT3 Inhibitors in FLT3 ITD-Positive AML" and " Oral-636: Selective Inhibition of Nuclear Cytoplasmic Transport As a New Treatment Paradigm in Myelofibrosis", respectively. ... Read More

Internal Medicine
Research
Nov 07, 2016

Welcome to Dr. Paul Bray

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Paul Bray to the faculty in the Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies. He received his MD degree from the University of Utah in 1977, where he did research with Drs. George Cartwright and Corwin Edwards on hemochromatosis. He did his Internal Medicine Residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, followed by a Hematology/Oncology Fellowship at the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF). He was on the Hematology faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from 1990-2000 and served as Medical Director of the Special Coagulation Laboratory. In 2000 was recruited to Baylor College of Medicine as the first Chief of a new Section of Thrombosis Research, where he developed a world-class program. Dr. Bray was subsequently recruited to the Jefferson Medical College as the 6th Director of the Cardeza Foundation for Hematologic Research and Director of Hematology. He also served as the Director of the Cardeza Special Hemostasis Laboratory and the Associate Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Medicine. He has served in numerous national and international advisory positions, NIH review panels and committees for the American Society of Hematology and the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH). He is a charter member and co-Chair of the ISTH Scientific Subcommittee Genomics in Thrombosis and Hemostasis. He has an extensive track-record of educational successes, having trained more than 25 postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, Hem/Onc fellows and junior faculty. He has given scores of national and international invited lectures. Dr. Bray has had 30 years of continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and currently is PI on three NIH R01 grants. Dr. Bray’s laboratory performs basic and translational research on 1) the role of platelets in inherited and acquired disorders of hemostasis, thrombosis and cardiovascular disease, 2) genomic and transcriptomic approaches to identification of novel genes and gene variants involved in platelet reactivity and pharmacogenetics, and 3) the role of platelet microRNAs (and other non-coding RNAs) on platelet gene expression and physiology, and 4) the molecular mechanisms by which these genes and transcripts regulate platelet thrombus formation. He has published more than 160 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and invited reviews. Dr. Bray is a clinical Hematologist who cares for out-patients with non-malignant hematology disorders. We welcome Dr. Bray to our faculty.... Read More

Internal Medicine
Research
Oct 19, 2016

Pilot and Feasibility Grant Awards

Our NIDDK-funded Center for Iron and Hematology Disorders has awarded three pilot research grants for the 2016/2017 fiscal year. Six proposals were considered for funding and the three successful applicants include the following:... Read More

Internal Medicine
Research
Oct 10, 2016

Welcome to Dr. Vedran Radojcic

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Vedran Radojcic to the faculty in the Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies. Dr. Radojcic was born and raised in Croatia where he completed his medical training. After completing internship in the Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit and a research fellowship at University of Zagreb, he joined the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as a postdoctoral fellow, focusing on immunology of blood and marrow transplantation. He subsequently relocated to the University of Michigan where he completed internship and residency in Internal Medicine as the "Most Outstanding House Officer". Upon completion of his residency, he accepted a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at the University of Michigan and was awarded the Mark Roth Memorial Award in the Division of Hematology/Oncology. His research as a fellow was sponsored through the T32 training grant, American Society of Hematology Research Training award for Fellows, and Robert A. Good New Investigator Award by the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. His research is focused on immunobiology of graft-versus-host disease and was instrumental in identifying Notch signaling in T cells as a therapeutic target for preventingchronic graft-versus-host disease. Dr. Radojcic will join the Bone Marrow Transplantation program at the Huntsman Cancer Institute and establish a laboratory-focused research program in transplant immunology. We welcome Dr. Radojcic to our faculty.... Read More

Internal Medicine
Research
Sep 01, 2016

Welcome to Dr. Doug Sborov

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Douglas Sborov to the faculty in the Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies. Dr. Sborov was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with his Bachelors of Science, and completed his medical training at The American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. Following medical school, he completed his Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Utah, and later his Hematology, Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplant Fellowship at The Ohio State University. During this time, he obtained his Masters in Medical Science with a concentration in tumor immunology, and completed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded T32 training grant with a focus in clinical research and trial development. Over the course of his training, Dr. Sborov developed a passionate interest in the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma, as well treating patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation. Dr. Sborov will join the myeloma program at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. We welcome Dr. Sborov to our faculty.... Read More

Internal Medicine
Multiple Myeloma Symposium
Education, Research
Aug 22, 2016

Multiple Myeloma Symposium

The Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies at the University of Utah is sponsoring an inaugural Multiple Myeloma Symposium to be held September 10, 2016 at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. The symposium will provide an overview of the most recent developments in the field of myeloma therapy. The keynote speaker this year is Dr. Frits van Rhee from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Myeloma Institute. Dr. Frits van Rhee will discuss Novel Treatments in Multiple Myeloma.... Read More

Internal Medicine
Thanks to Dr. Lewis Cantley!
Research
Aug 10, 2016

Thanks to Dr. Lewis Cantley!

Dr. Lewis Cantley, Professor of Cancer Biology in Medicine at the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at the Weill Cornell Medical College delivered the 2016 George E. Cartwright Memorial Endowed Lecture August 4, 2016. Dr. Cantley presented his research on the signaling pathway of the PI3K kinase and its role in oncogenesis. Dr. Cantley is a highly distinguished scientist and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.... Read More

Internal Medicine
Research, Education
Aug 01, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Chuck Parker

Congratulations to Dr. Chuck Parker for his selection by the American Society of Hematology to serve on the Awards Committee for the Society for a four year term. Dr. Parker will also Chair a session at the 2016 annual ASH meeting in the Educational Program. ... Read More

Internal Medicine
Research, Recognition
Jul 13, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Betty Leibold

Congratulations to Dr. Betty Leibold who was awarded a competitive RO1 research grant from the National Institutes of Health, NIDDK Institute. Dr. Leibold's research grant builds on her discovery that the processing of proinsulin is impaired in mice lacking the iron regulatory protein 2 (IRP2). The irp2 -/- mice exhibit elevated proinsulin levels and reduced pancreatic insulin secretion. She seeks to elucidate the mechanism by which IRP2 contributes to proinsulin processing.... Read More

Internal Medicine
Research, Education
Jul 12, 2016

Hematology Huntsman 5K Walk

The annual Hematology Huntsman Disease-Oriented Team 5K Walk is scheduled for Saturday October 15, 2016. The walk/run will start at the Fort Douglas bandstand. Faculty, family, patients and friends are welcome.... Read More

Internal Medicine
Education, Research, Recognition
Jul 12, 2016

Congratulations Dr. Deborah Stephens

Congratulations to Dr. Deborah Stephens on her recently accepted manuscript in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The study entitled, " Continued Risk of Relapse Independent of Treatment Modality in Limited-Stage Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma: Final and Long-Term Analysis of Southwest Oncology Group Study S8736" reported on a two decade follow up by the SWOG Lymphoma Working Group on risk assessment of 400 patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The group reported that relapse occurred independent of the treatment modality. This highlights the importance of long-term followup studies to assess treatment efficacy.... Read More

Internal Medicine
Education, Research
May 10, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Catherine Lee

Congratulations to Catherine Lee, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Hematology/Hematologic Malignancies and Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) for being accepted to the 2016 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) Clinical Research Training Course. Selection into this course is highly competitive and based upon the merits of the candidate, mentor, and the submitted research project proposal. Catherine is one of 12 fellows and junior faculty members who will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of clinical and clinical-translational research design by working with senior mentors in blood and marrow transplantation. We look forward to hearing about her experience. Congratulations again!... Read More

Internal Medicine
Education, Research
Feb 05, 2016

6th Annual Hematology Review

The Sixth Annual Hematology Review will take place Saturday, February 13th at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. This one-day conference provides an update on the treatment of malignant and benign hematologic diseases. The keynote speaker is Dr. Jerald Radich who is Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Radich specializes in the molecular genetics of leukemia and the detection of minimal residue disease. The additional speakers at the conference are faculty members of the Division of Hematology at the University of Utah. Registration is freely available at: hematology.conference@hsc.utah.edu.... Read More

Internal Medicine
Research
Feb 04, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Ahmad Halwani

Dr. Ahmad Halwani has been selected as a University of Utah Vice President's Clinical and Translational (VPCAT) Research Scholar for the 2016-2017 year. This award supports junior faculty in the University of Utah Health Sciences who are committed to research careers. This is a competitive mentored program to provide leadership competencies and develop the essential research knowledge and practical skills to be an effective clinical or translational researcher. We congratulate Dr. Halwani on his selection as a VPCAT Scholar.... Read More

Internal Medicine
Welcome Dr. Srinivas (Sri) Tantravahi to the Faculty - U of U School of Medicine
Recognition
Dec 10, 2015

Welcome Dr. Srinivas (Sri) Tantravahi to the Faculty - U of U School of Medicine

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Srinivas (Sri) Tantravahi to the faculty in the Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies as a Clinical Instructor. Sri completed his medical school education in the Guntur Medical College in India and subsequently completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals in the United Kingdom and obtained membership in the Royal College of Physicians.... Read More

Internal Medicine
Welcome Dr. Catherine Lee to the Faculty - U of U School of Medicine
Recognition
Nov 06, 2015

Welcome Dr. Catherine Lee to the Faculty - U of U School of Medicine

Dr. Lee recently completed a fellowship in blood and marrow transplantation at Stanford University. She received her MD degree at New York University School of Medicine. She completed a fellowship in oncologic palliative care and pain medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and a second fellowship in hematology/oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. ... Read More

Internal Medicine
Identification of a Much-Needed Drug Target Against MRSA, Gram-Positive Infections
Research
Feb 02, 2015

Identification of a Much-Needed Drug Target Against MRSA, Gram-Positive Infections

mrsa, antibiotic-resistance

Scientists at the University of Utah and the University of Georgia have uncovered a pharmacological target that could enable development of novel drugs against antibiotic-resistant pathogens, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other infectious Gram-positive organisms such as Listeria and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The target was revealed upon discovery of a Gram-positive bacteria-specific pathway for making heme, an essential iron-carrying molecule. The findings were reported in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). ... Read More

Internal Medicine

MESSAGE FROM OUR CHIEF

Deininger


Welcome to the Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies! The scientific focus of our Division is the study of blood and bone marrow in health and disease.

Read More

Ami Patel, Current Fellow

Further Reflections on George Cartwright

Dr. Paul BrayDr. Paul Bray

Further Reflections on George Cartwright

Dr. James KushnerDr. James Kushner

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