This year’s Plenary Scientific Session will be held on Sunday, December 2, from 2:00-4:00pm in Hall AB. According to ASH, during this highlight of the annual meeting attendees will hear the presentations of “the highest-caliber scientific abstracts selected by the Program Committee from among the thousands submitted from around the world.” Among the presentations: Results of the phase 3 MEDALIST trial (luspatercept); megakaryocytic-erythroid progenitors in human and mice; the REACH study (hydroxyurea for sickle cell anemia in sub-Saharan Africa); perspectives on myeloproliferative neoplasms; updates on CRISPR use to generate genetically defined models of Acute erythroid leukemia (AEL); and updates on Alliance North American Intergroup Study A041202.
Several sessions this year have been designated of relevance for either PhD trainees or that may have clinical relevance. Among these:
- How to get published in the peer review literature. This session, being held Saturday, December 1, from 11:15-12:15pm in Room 7B, is being chair by Bob Lowenberg, MD, PhD, Erasmus University Medical Center, and member of numerous editorial boards. The ability to communicate one’s work effectively by publication in high-impact journals is a benchmark for success in academic medicine. Even high-quality work may not be accepted if not presented in a well-crafted manuscript. This talk will provide insight into the elements of a high-quality manuscript worthy of publication in Blood and tips on avoiding common errors that might result rejection.
- Special Session with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director. This session is also being held on Saturday, December 1, from 5:45-6:15 pm. NCI Director Norman E. Sharpless, MD, will present his vision for the NCI along with the four key focus areas: big data, clinical trials, workforce development, and basic science. Dr. Sharpless will also discuss how the NCI vision and key focus areas may impact the greater hematology professional community.
- Glycobiology in Hematology: The New Frontier. This symposium will be held on Sunday, December 2, from 9:30-11:00am in Room 29C. In this session, speakers will focus on diverse glycan functions and their potential as therapeutic targets in multiple blood lineages. Dr. Sean Stowell will discuss a novel mechanism which shows that the formation of anti-ABO(H) antibodies is dependent upon individual gut bacteria expressing ABO-like glycans. Dr. Stowell will address how gut microbiota with distinct ABO-like decoration promotes the development of anti-ABO antibodies and how the relative abundance of microbes decorated with blood group-like antigens predicts the level of anti-blood group antibodies. Dr. Karin Hoffmeister will discuss how aberrant megakaryocytes’ sialylation affects the bone marrow niche and immune cell regulation of platelet production. She will discuss how aberrant terminal glycan structures (loss of sialic acid) on megakaryocytes affect thrombopoiesis and the bone marrow niche environment. She will elucidate the role of specific subsets of immune cells in regulating late stage thrombopoiesis of megakaryocytes expressing tumor-associated antigens, such as the Thomsen-Friedenreich antigen (O-linked glycans lacking sialic acid). Dr. Robert Sackstein will review how cell-surface glycoengineering to enforce E-selectin ligand expression may improve efficacy and safety for cell-based therapeutics. Dr. Sackstein will also discuss the structural biology of E-selectin ligands and current data on their expression on culture-expanded T cells and stem cells.
- Special Symposium on the Basic Science of Hemostasis and Thrombosis. This symposia will be held on Monday, December 3, from 4:30-6:30pm in Room 30D. This session will focus on the role of inflammation in the pathophysiologic events surrounding abnormal hemostasis and pathologic thrombosis. Speakers will discuss the unique mechanisms by which different components of the hemostatic system influence the development and progression of inflammatory disorders. Dr. Katerina Akassoglou will discuss the role of fibrinogen in neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration, and inhibition of neural repair. She will emphasize novel studies focused on imaging fibrinogen in the inflammatory milieu. Dr. Samir Parikh will discuss the role of the endothelial receptor and tyrosine kinase TIE2 in the regulation of inflammatory thrombus formation. Dr. Parikh will discuss how dysregulation of this system in patients with vascular inflammation contributes to disseminated intravascular coagulation and thrombus formation. Dr. Steffen Massberg will discuss the ability of platelets to collect and bundle bacteria during infection. Dr. Massberg will also discuss a novel autonomous single platelet function, which is to migrate, collect, and bundle bacteria in order to stimulate neutrophil activation. Moua Yang will present the Mary Rodes Gibson Memorial Award-winning abstract, as the trainee with the highest-scoring abstract submitted in the field of hemostasis and thrombosis for the ASH annual meeting (Abstract #867). ASH notes attendees are invited to the ASH Hemostasis and Thrombosis Community Reception immediately following the session.