of the Insights in Hematology

2023 Conference

Hillard Lazarus

Hillard M Lazarus, MD, FACP is Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). He directed the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center (UHCMC) for more than 25 years and has been mentor to countless junior colleagues, influencing many to pursue academic medicine careers. He was first chair of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Committee of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG), a position he held for 17 years; he was Co-Chair of the Lymphoma Committee of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplantation Research (CIBMTR) for 19 years. As Principal Investigator of the Case Consortium for 17 years, he led one of the original Core Centers of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network (BMT CTN), an organization funded by the NCI and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Dr. Lazarus has been internationally recognized for research in mesenchymal stem cell transplantation, autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation for lymphoma, and allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for malignancies; he helped develop many new anti-cancer therapies and sophisticated supportive care technologies. He was inducted into the American Cancer Society Cancer Care Hall of Fame and he received their Lifetime Achievement Research Award (2007). Dr. Lazarus was awarded the Alumni Distinguished Service Award by Carnegie Mellon University (2011); Leukemia and Lymphoma Society 2011 Man of the Year (Northern Ohio); and Honorary Alumnus of the Year Award (2013) at CWRU School of Medicine. He also held the George & Edith Richman Professor & Distinguished Scientist in Cancer Research endowed chair. His research has been published in over 800 original, peer- reviewed manuscripts and he is the editor of nine (9) textbooks. He is Editor-in-Chief of two (2) high-impact journals, Blood Reviews and Best Practice & Research Clinical Haematology.

Douglas Smith

Dr. B. Douglas Smith is Professor of Oncology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and on the active staff of Johns Hopkins Hospital. His research focuses on taking new and promising laboratory insights and developing them into biology-based treatment approaches for patients with acute and chronic leukemias and MDS. Dr. Smith is recognized as a national leader in novel therapeutics in leukemia and serves on the National Cancer Institute’s Leukemia Steering Committee. He is the Co-Director of the Division of Hematologic Malignancies Clinical Research Operations where he helps to manage the Division’s clinical trials portfolio and research staff. Finally, Dr. Smith has extensive regulatory experience as a long-standing member of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Institutional Review Board and currently is the Chair of IRB2 since 2018.

Gabriel Ghiaur

Dr. Ghiaur, a member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, is a physician-scientist whose primary interest is normal and malignant hematopoiesis, especially the role of the microenvironment in cell extrinsic drug resistance and persistence of minimal residual disease. He has distinguished himself as an outstanding laboratory-based investigator and a superior clinician. His research has translational potential in stem cell therapeutics, as well as acute leukemia and multiple myeloma.

Richard Jones

Richard J. Jones, M.D. is Professor of Oncology, Medicine, and Pathobiology, Associate Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center for Faculty and Program Development, as well as Director of the Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) and co-Director of the Hematologic Malignancies Programs at Johns Hopkins University. His major area of research interest is normal and malignant stem cell biology, especially the translation of promising findings from the laboratory to the clinic to improve the treatment of malignant and non-malignant blood disorders. Examples of his research accomplishments have been the development of the stem cell marker Aldefluor and high-dose cyclophosphamide for auto- and alloimmunity. The latter has led to the ability to safely perform partially mismatched BMT, allowing now everyone in need access to BMT. He has authored over 350 articles and book chapters on hematopoiesis, hematologic malignancies, and transplantation biology. Dr. Jones is a past Stohlman Memorial Scholar of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Jessica Altman

Jessica K. Altman, MD, is a Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She also serves as Director of the Leukemia Program at Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center of Northwestern University.
Dr. Altman received her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed her residency in internal medicine at the University of Chicago and fellowship in hematology and oncology at Northwestern McGaw/Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She is board certified in hematology.
Dr. Altman’s clinical and research interests include acute and chronic leukemias, anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, and myeloproliferative diseases. She has published and presented extensively in these disease areas. She is the chair of the clinical trial audit committee of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is also a member of the Northwestern Medicine Developmental Therapeutics Program, the Signal Transduction in Cancer Program, and the Hematologic Malignancies Program at the Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center. Her clinical translational research focuses on novel targeted approaches for the treatment of acute leukemia.
Dr. Altman is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Society of Hematology (ASH). She is the senior executive editor of the ASH Self-Assessment Program, 8th edition and a member of the ASH guidelines panel for treating AML in older adults.
She is active in the ECOG- ACRIN cooperative group and myeloMATCH program. Dr. Altman is a co-chair of the NCI leukemia steering committee.
She is the vice chair of the NCCN Acute Myeloid Leukemia Panel and a member of the NCCN Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Panel.

Eric Oksenhendler

• Professor of Clinical Immunology in Hôpital Saint-Louis and Université Paris Cité, Paris
• Head of the Department of Clinical Immunology
• Involved in Castleman disease Clinical care and Science since the 90ies
• Initial focus on patients with CD in the context of HIV infection.
• Publications on
• The first series of HIV-associated MCD,
• Discovery of HHV-8 as the infectious agent responsible for this peculiar MCD
• Description of the high risk of lymphoma in this population
• Efficacy of Rituximab in HHV-8 associated MCD
• Description of HHV-8 MCD in the HIV negative population
• Overview of UCD management
• Initiation of a French national registry for all types of CD ( > 600 patients )
• Certified in 2017 as the French National Reference Center for Castleman Disease
• Current research fields
• UCD : Involvement of stroma cells
• iMCD : Involvement of the Tfh cells
• HHV-8 associated MCD : Characterization of the infected cells.

Eunice Wang

Chief, Leukemia Service, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University at Buffalo
Eunice S. Wang, MD is Chief of the Leukemia Service and Professor of Oncology in the Department of Medicine at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. She directs the Roswell Park Hematological Procurement Shared Resource and is Physician Leader for the Roswell Park Chemotherapy/Infusion center. She also serves as an associate professor in the Department of Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. Dr. Wang earned her medical degree from the Keck (University of Southern California) School of Medicine and completed internal medicine residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital followed by hematology-oncology fellowship training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY, NY.
Dr. Wang has an active clinical practice caring for patients with acute leukemias, myeloid malignancies, and other hematological disorders. Her clinical research program is focused on early phase clinical trials of novel therapies, particularly small molecular inhibitors and immunotherapy for acute leukemia and myeloid malignancies. She leads a translational laboratory investigating the role of the marrow microenvironment in acute myeloid leukemia. She is the prior recipient of an NIH Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award (CCITLA) and an American Cancer Society Mentored Research Scholar award. To date, she has authored/co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed clinical and translational research articles in hematological malignancies and has mentored over 50 trainees.

Laura Belver

My research career spans over more than 17 years in which I have been trained in top-tier institutions in Spain and the USA.

I did my PhD with Dr. Almudena Ramiro at the Spanish National Cancer Center (CNIO). My thesis project studied the role of microRNAs in B-cell differentiation and demonstrated their strict requirement for preventing the development of B-cell-driven autoimmunity. This work culminated with the publication of a highly-cited article (Belver et al, Immunity 2010) that was awarded the Biogen-Idec Award for Young Scientist. Concurrently, the defense of my Doctoral Thesis received theOutstanding Doctoral Thesis Award from the Autonomous University of Madrid.

During my training with Dr. Ramiro, I also authored a review on microRNA control of lymphoid differentiation and function (Belver et al, Curr. Opin. Immunol., 2011), and contributed to additional projects on the regulation and function of AID, the enzyme responsible for the diversification of the antibodies and a major driver of B-cell oncogenic transformation (de Yébenes et al et al, J. Exp. Med, 2008; Pérez-Durán et al, J. Exp. Med, 2012; Delgado et al, PLoS Genet., 2020).

In 2012, I joined the laboratory of Dr. Adolfo Ferrando at Columbia University as a postdoctoral researcher. My work mainly focused on the study of the genetic and molecular basis of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). I first participated in the identification of N-Me, a T-cell-specific MYC enhancer that was the missing link to understand the NOTCH1-MYC regulatory circuit in T-ALL (Herranz et al, Nat. Med. 2014). Following this discovery, I performed an extensive molecular and functional characterization of N-Me. My results revealed that Gata3 pioneering activity at N-Me is essential for T-ALL initiation and maintenance, formally demonstrating for the first time that aberrant chromatin accessibility at oncogenic enhancers can act as a mechanism of leukemic transformation (Belver et al, Cancer Discov. 2019). The relevance of this work has been broadly recognized in international conferences with the Acute Leukemia Forum Young Investigator Award, the American Society of Hematology Abstract Achievement Award, and theEuropean School of Haematology Early Career International Award.

During my postdoctoral training I also authored a review and book chapter on T-ALL genetics (Belver and Ferrando, Nat. Rev. Cancer, 2016; Gianni et al, Leukemia & Lymphoma, 2020) and made important contributions in other studies on acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Schnell et al, Blood, 2015; Herranz et al, Nat. Med., 2015; Oshima et al, Nat. Cancer, 2020), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (Puente et al, Nature, 2015; Fabbri et al, PNAS, 2017), and angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (Cortés et al, Cancer Cell, 2018).

Since August 2020, I lead my own research group at the Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute. Our main interest is the study of the molecular mechanisms driving leukemia and autoimmunity, and the development of experimental therapies for the treatment of these diseases.

Sebastian Kobold

Melody Smith

Dr. Melody Smith received her BS from Vanderbilt University, and she received her MD with Distinction in Research from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. She also completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern. She subsequently moved to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to complete her fellowship in Hematology & Medical Oncology. She joined the faculty at MSK in 2015 as an Instructor of Medicine on the Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Service, and she was promoted to Assistant Member Level 1 in 2017. During her time as junior faculty at MSK, she also obtained a Master of Science in Clinical & Translational Investigation from Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.
Dr. Smith developed an interest in the immunobiology of bone marrow transplant during a research experience as a medical student. Upon completion of her clinical fellowship at MSK, Dr. Smith conducted post-doctoral research in the lab of Dr. Marcel van den Brink with co-mentorship by Dr. Michel Sadelain. As of September 2021, she joined the faculty at Stanford University as an Assistant Professor in the Blood and Marrow Transplantation & Cellular Therapy Division in the Department of Medicine where she established her independent lab. As a physician-scientist, her research focuses on strategies to develop cellular immunotherapies from allogeneic as opposed to autologous sources (Ghosh A* and Smith M* et al. Nat Med 2017; * denotes co-first authorship). She also investigates the regulatory mechanisms for the impact of the intestinal microbiome on CAR T cell outcomes (Smith M. et al. Nat Med 2022). Dr. Smith is also involved in translational research, and she is the IND holder for a single-center clinical trial that is incorporating allogeneic CAR T cells in the post-allo-HCT setting as a strategy to decrease relapse in patients with high-risk B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (NCT05507827).
Regarding leadership positions, Dr. Smith served as the Chair of the Junior Faculty Council at MSK from 2020 to 2021. Among other roles, she currently serves as the co-chair of the ASTCT Junior Faculty and Trainee Committee, the co-chair of the ASTCT Women and URM Special Interest Group, as well as the chair of the American Society of Hematology Research Training Award for Fellows. Her other positions in service to professional organizations include co-chairing committees and task forces dedicated to promoting diversity among hematology and cell therapy specialists. Dr. Smith looks forward to mentoring early career physician-scientists, particularly individuals from groups that are underrepresented in medicine and basic science.

Evangelos Terpos

Dr Terpos main research interest is the biology and management of bone disease in multiple myeloma. He also studies the role of modern imaging (MRI, PET/CT) and of MRD in plasma cell neoplasms. In the clinical research era, Dr Terpos participates in many important clinical trials and is the PI of several studies with novel agents in the field of myeloma.

His research work was reported in more than 700 papers in peer-reviewed journals and Dr Terpos has more 35,000 citations and an h-index of 84 in ISI/Web of Knowledge and more than 50,000 citations and an h-index of 105in Google Scholar.

Dr Terpos is co-chairing the Bone Sub-Committee of the International Myeloma Working Group and is a member of the Guideline Subgroup of the European Myeloma Network. Dr Terpos is also a member of the Education and Publication Committees of the International Myeloma Society, and he is the vice-president of the Greek Myeloma Study Group.

He has given lectures at ASH, ASCO, EHA and EMN meetings, and in International Myeloma Workshops. He is Associate Editor of HemaSphere(official journal of EHA), American Journal of Hematology and of Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia (official journal of IMS).

Jaroslav Cermak

Dr Terpos main research interest is the biology and management of bone disease in multiple myeloma. He also studies the role of modern imaging (MRI, PET/CT) and of MRD in plasma cell neoplasms. In the clinical research era, Dr Terpos participates in many important clinical trials and is the PI of several studies with novel agents in the field of myeloma.

His research work was reported in more than 700 papers in peer-reviewed journals and Dr Terpos has more 35,000 citations and an h-index of 84 in ISI/Web of Knowledge and more than 50,000 citations and an h-index of 105in Google Scholar.

Dr Terpos is co-chairing the Bone Sub-Committee of the International Myeloma Working Group and is a member of the Guideline Subgroup of the European Myeloma Network. Dr Terpos is also a member of the Education and Publication Committees of the International Myeloma Society, and he is the vice-president of the Greek Myeloma Study Group.

He has given lectures at ASH, ASCO, EHA and EMN meetings, and in International Myeloma Workshops. He is Associate Editor of HemaSphere(official journal of EHA), American Journal of Hematology and of Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia (official journal of IMS).Dr.Jaroslav Cermak has been working as a professor of Hematology and Internal medicine at the Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion and at Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. He was the president of the Czech Society of Hematology in the years 2006-2018. He has been working as a head of the MDS Foundation Center of Excellence and as a head of Euro Blood Net center for rare diseases at the Institute of Hematology in Prague. He published more than 70 articles in international journals (incl. Blood, British Journal of Haematology, Leukemia Research, Cancer Research). In the year 1992 he received the annual award of the American Association for Clinical Research in Molecular Oncology. Dr.Cermak is also a co-author of Revised international prognostic scoring system for MDS and European Leukemia Net diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines for MDS, he also works in a steering committee of European MDS Registry and is a member of IPIG.

Jonatham Fromm

Dr. Fromm is the Associate Director of the flow cytometry laboratory, Director of the Development subdivision, and Associate Director of the Hematopathology laboratory at the University of Washington. His area of expertise is the diagnosis of leukemia and lymphoma. Dr. Fromm’s research interests include understanding the cause of lymphomas, developing new molecular and tissue-based methods to diagnose lymphomas, and expanding the utility of the diagnostic technique of flow cytometry in Hematopathology.
Dr. Fromm earned his bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College in Iowa (USA) and his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He completed his residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the University of Washington in 2003 and a fellowship in Hematopathology in 2005, at which time he joined the faculty in Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington (Seattle, WA, USA).

Hermann Einsele

Hermann Einsele, MD, FRCP, is Full Professor of Internal Medicine and has been Director of the Department of Internal Medicine II of the University Hospital Würzburg, Germany, since 2004.
Following his medical training at the Universities of Tübingen, Manchester, and London, Hermann Einsele became a research fellow in the Department of Haematology, Oncology, Rheumatology, and Immunology at the University of Tübingen, Germany. Hermann Einsele was board certified in Internal Medicine in 1991 and in Haematology/Oncology in 1996. In 1999, he was promoted as an Associate Professor. He was Visiting Professor at the City of Hope Hospital, Duarte, CA and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Seattle, USA.
From 2011-2015 and since 2022 Hermann Einsele was Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Würzburg, from 2021-2021 he was Advisory board member in the funding program “Zwanzig20 – Partnership for Innovation” of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and from 2015 -2021 Vice President of the University of Würzburg. Since 2018, he is the chair of the scientific working group on immunotherapy for hematological malignancies of the European Hematology Association. Since 2022, Prof. Einsele is Executive Chairman of the German Society of Hematology and Oncology.
In 2003, he received the van Bekkum Award, the highest Annual European award for research in the field of stem cell transplantation. In 2011, he was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (London) and in 2012 Nobel Lecturer Stem Cell Biology/ Transplantation, Nobel Forum Karolinska Institute. Since 2014, he was elected as a member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz and 2017/2018/2019/2020/2021/2022 as an ISI “Highly Cited Researcher” in the category Clinical Medicine. In 2022 Prof. Einsele received the Erasmus Hematology Award 2022 from the Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands and the Bavarian constitutional medal.
Hermann Einsele is expert in the field of multiple myeloma with focus on CAR T cells, bi-specific antibodies, adoptive immunotherapy and stem cell transplantation.

Polina Stepensky

Polina Stepensky, M.D., is the director of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cancer Immunotherapy Department at the Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel and Professor of Pediatrics at The Hebrew University University, Jerusalem, Israel.

Prof. Stepensky born in Ukraine, received her medical training at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel, specializing in Pediatrics and Haematology at the Hadassah Medical Center. She carried out a Postdoctoral clinical and research fellowship in hematology and bone marrow transplantation at Minnesota University Medical Centre, Minneapolis, in the USA, and visited GOSH, London, UK.

Prof. Stepensky has been working in the fields of genetics, immunology and bone marrow transplantation for the last 15 years. Prof. Stepensky is one of the leaders in the field of allogeneic transplantations for both malignant and non-malignant disorders. Her main contributions and scientific interests include genetic basis of immune deficiencies and hematologic diseases, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, adoptive cell-mediated immunotherapy including CART cell biology and development point of care for the local production of genetically modified immune effector cells.

Ciprian Tomuleasa

Dr. Ciprian Tomuleasa is the Congress Director of Insights in Hematology Conference. Dr. Tomuleasa is a young physician-scientiest that is currently affiliated with the Ion Chiricuță Clinical Cancer Center and Iuliu Hațieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj Napoca, Romania. He did part of his training as a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins University in the department of medicine, division of GI, and his transplant rotations with Dr. Ciurea at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. His current research regards the molecular mechanism of haematological malignancies and the translation of his knowledge in the clinical setting. He published 85 papers, was cited 600 times and has a Hirsch index of.

Delia Dima, M.D.

Dr. Delia Dima is a senior hematologist at the Ion Chiricuta Oncology Institute and will talk about the clinical nursing approach for the haemophilia patient, as a symposium organized on behalf of the Romanian Society of Hematology for Romania 3 Project – Strenghten haemophilia care in the north and establish a national registry in Romania, grant awarded for 2020 – 2021 by the Novo Nordisk Haemophilia Foundation.