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OUHSC Professor to Receive Hematology Society's Highest Honor

Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - Campus News - Contact Theresa Green, (405) 833-9824

The American Society of Hematology has selected James N. George, M.D., of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center as recipient of its highest honor, the Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology.

George was selected for this year's award, in honor of his distinguished, 50-year career combining outstanding basic and clinical research investigation, extraordinary teaching and mentorship, and exceptional patient care, society officials said.

"His remarkable career has combined hallmark research investigation, the delivery of personalized patient care, and service to current and future generations of hematologists," said American Society of Hematology President Armand Keating, M.D.

"The Coulter Award recognizes the important leadership provided by Dr. George in the field of hematology nationally and internationally," said OU President David L. Boren. "We are fortunate to have Dr. George as a member of our faculty."

The prestigious award recognizes those who have demonstrated a lifetime commitment and made outstanding contributions to hematology, while making a significant impact on education, research and practice.

"I can't think of a more deserving individual for this award. Dr. George is one of those outstanding individuals, as talented as he is humble, whose work has helped advance the field of hematology," said M. Dewayne Andrews, M.D., MACP, senior vice president and provost of the OU Health Sciences Center and executive dean of the OU College of Medicine. 

George, who holds the George Lynn Cross Research Professorship in the departments of Medicine and Biostatistics & Epidemiology at the OU Health Sciences Center, is a pioneer in the field of platelet glycoproteins. In the early 1980s, George and colleagues were able to describe the molecular basis of platelet function in hemostasis, one of his signature research achievements. That original research is documented in more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

"Dr. George is a person of integrity, compassion and innovation," said Gary Raskob, Ph.D., dean of the OU College of Public Health. "In his quiet, humble way, Dr. George has truly shaped the field's understanding of platelet disorders. He is also one of those amazing individuals and the consummate professional.  He does it all well – patient care, laboratory research, clinical research and mentoring."

The cornerstone of George's current work is his initiation and maintenance of a registry in Oklahoma for a rare blood disorder. Few have even heard of the disorder, known by the acronym TTP-HUR.  It leads to blood clots in small blood vessels, resulting in an increased risk for internal bleeding and damage to the heart, kidneys and brain. George has been personally involved in the care of 92 percent of patients in the registry since 1995, making it one of the most well conducted and powerful registries to date, and boosting clinical knowledge of this rare disorder.

George, who served as American Society of Hematology President in 2005, also helped shape one of the Society's most important career development programs, the ASH Clinical Research Training Institute. This unique year-long education and mentoring program, now in its 10th year, is designed for hematology fellows and junior faculty interested in pursuing careers in patient-oriented clinical research.

The 2012 Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology will be presented to George on Dec. 9 in Atlanta, during the American Society of Hematology's 54th Annual Meeting and Exposition. 

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