ASH will present awards to former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as journalist and author Tom Brokaw, in recognition of their advocacy for biomedical research and hematology.
The recognition ceremony will take place Dec. 10 during the ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta.
Biden will receive the 2017 ASH Public Service Award, which recognizes unparalleled leadership by an elected public official on issues of importance to hematology research or practice.
Biden — whose son, Beau, died of brain cancer in 2015 — subsequently led the Obama administration’s national cancer moonshot initiative, intended to double the pace of progress in cancer research.
Biden also helped lead the effort to pass the 21st Century Cures Act, which provided $1.8 billion in funding over 7 years toward the scientific priorities outlined in the moonshot initiative.
Biden and his wife, Jill, left public service in January but established the Biden Cancer Initiative, through which they are continuing the effort to accelerate cancer research.
“ASH is pleased to recognize former Vice President Joe Biden with this year’s Public Service Award,” ASH President Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, said in a society-issued press release. “This award recognizes his exemplary record of public service, his resolute leadership of the cancer moonshot program, and the unwavering passion he has shown in launching the Biden Foundation’s Cancer Initiative.”
Brokaw will receive the 2017 ASH Outstanding Service Award, which recognizes effective leadership behind the scenes in areas relevant to the mission of the society. Brokaw, who is in remission from multiple myeloma, will receive the award for his dedication to increasing public awareness about blood cancers.
Brokaw shared his treatment experience in his memoir, “A Lucky Life Interrupted.”
“I am deeply honored to present the Outstanding Service Award to my longtime friend Tom Brokaw,” Anderson said. “Tom is a hero and inspiration to patients, caregivers and researchers alike. His willingness to selflessly and publicly share his journey has helped bring much-needed attention to the importance of biomedical research in enabling us to better understand — and one day cure — cancers and other blood diseases.”