Jan 20, 2021 4:00 PM

Author: Ashlee Harrison

Portrait photo of Ami Patel, MD
Ami Patel, MD

Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U) announces Ami Patel, MD, has been selected by the American Society of Hematology (ASH) to receive a Scholar Award. One of ASH’s most prestigious research award programs, ASH Scholar Awards financially support fellows and junior faculty who have dedicated their careers to advancing the field of hematology research as they transition from training programs to careers as independent investigators. The awards fund promising, high-impact research areas led by the Scholars.

Patel is a physician-scientist at HCI and assistant professor of internal medicine at the U of U. She cares for patients with myeloid leukemias, including chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML). Her research program focuses on understanding the biology of leukemia in order to identify new drug targets and treat the disease more effectively.

The ASH Scholar Award will help Patel conduct her recently opened clinical trial for CMML patients at HCI. The trial will use the drug cobimetinib in the treatment of CMML patients with specific cancer cell mutations. Patel will collect blood samples from CMML patients treated with cobimetinib on the clinical trial and analyze leukemia cells using sequencing technology to shed light on how cancer cells respond to cobimetinib treatment. “I am honored to be the recipient of an ASH Scholar Award,” says Patel. “This award will provide funds to advance scientific knowledge regarding this rare disease. The fact that this is one of the nation’s first molecularly targeted drug trials designed specifically for CMML patients is quite exciting and underscores the critical need for this type of research as we work to improve outcomes for people with CMML.”

The Scholar Award funds hematologists in the United States and Canada who conduct basic, translational, and clinical research that furthers the understanding and treatment of blood disorders.

“When you’re beginning your research career, receiving funding from an organization like ASH not only provides the necessary support to pursue your goals, but it also instills confidence that your work is worthwhile,” says 2021 ASH President Martin S. Tallman, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “The ASH Scholar Award has been a turning point in the careers of fellows and early career faculty who have gone on to become leaders in our field. We congratulate this year’s recipients and look forward to watching their promising research careers unfold.”

ASH Scholar Awards are made possible through support from the ASH Foundation as well as from the corporate community, individual donors, and funds committed by the Society. Patel also acknowledges her mentor, Michael Deininger, MD, PhD, the University of Utah Health Department of Internal Medicine, and Huntsman Cancer Foundation for their generous support of her research efforts.

View the full list of Scholar Award recipients.



About the American Society of Hematology

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood. For 60 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. ASH publishes Blood, the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online, as well as the newly launched, online, peer-reviewed open-access journal Blood Advances. 

Media Contact

Heather Simonsen
Public Relations – Huntsman Cancer Institute
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About Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah is the official cancer center of Utah and the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Mountain West. The campus includes a state-of-the-art cancer specialty hospital and two buildings dedicated to cancer research. Huntsman Cancer Institute provides patient care, cancer screening, and education at community clinics and affiliate hospitals throughout the Mountain West. It is consistently recognized among the best cancer hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report. The region’s first proton therapy center opened in 2021 and a major hospital expansion is underway. Huntsman Cancer Institute is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment for staff, students, patients, and communities. Advancing cancer research discoveries and treatments to meet the needs of patients who live far away from a major medical center is a unique focus. More genes for inherited cancers have been discovered at Huntsman Cancer Institute than at any other cancer center, including genes responsible for breast, ovarian, colon, head and neck cancers, and melanoma. Huntsman Cancer Institute was founded by Jon M. and Karen Huntsman.

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