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Versiti Scientist to receive American Society of Hematology Lifetime Achievement Award

November 20, 2019 GMT
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Richard Aster, M.D., Versiti Blood Research Institute, winner of American Society of Hematology Award
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Richard Aster, M.D., Versiti Blood Research Institute, winner of American Society of Hematology Award

MILWAUKEE, Nov. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of his distinguished career working as a senior investigator at Versiti Blood Research Institute for nearly 50 years, Richard Aster, M.D., was selected to receive the most prestigious award offered by the American Society of Hematology (ASH). During its Annual Meeting, Dec. 7-10 in Orlando, Fla., ASH will honor Dr. Aster with the Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology.

This honor recognizes Dr. Aster’s lifelong commitment to improving the care of patients with hematologic, or blood-related, disorders. Over the span of his career, Dr. Aster has studied immune diseases that affect blood cells, particularly those involving platelets. His patented work has led to vast improvements in the preparation, storage and matching of platelets for transfusion.

“I have enjoyed every minute of this long journey, and I am humbled and deeply grateful to receive this recognition,” Dr. Aster said.

The award is ASH’s highest honor and is named after Wallace H. Coulter, an engineer, entrepreneur and inventor best known for developing the Coulter Principle—a technology used to count and size blood cells as they flow through an opening. Coulter revolutionized the medical community’s ability to screen for diseases through a simple blood test.

“ASH believes Dr. Aster embodies many of the attributes of Wallace Coulter, such as his love of investigation, creativity, tenacity and generosity,” said ASH President Roy Silverstein, M.D.

“Dr. Aster exhibits a genuine passion for hematology and has set a high bar for excellence in research, mentorship and patient care.”

Versiti launches new test related to HIT diagnostics
In addition to this recognition, Dr. Aster and Versiti will announce a new Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT) assay called the PEA during the ASH Annual Meeting. Colleagues in Dr. Aster’s research laboratory were key in the development of this new patented method.

PEA stands for P-Selectin Expression Assay, and when compared to the current ‘gold-standard’ test, PEA can detect more patients with HIT antibodies. It also boasts an industry-leading turnaround time of less than 24 hours. This is important because HIT can be hard to diagnose. When left untreated, it can lead to the development of new, or the enlargement of existing, blood clots. Blood clots can cause life-threatening conditions such as strokes and heart attacks. Versiti’s PEA test will be available for clinical order Dec. 2, 2019. For more information, visit the Versiti booth #865 at the ASH Annual Meeting or versiti.org/PEA.

About Versiti
Versiti, a national leader in blood health innovation, was formed with the mission to improve the health of patients and enable the success of our healthcare partners nationally. We provide innovative, value added solutions in the fields of transfusion medicine, transplantation, and blood-related diseases to meet the needs of each of our customers. The collective efforts across Versiti result in improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care, and cost efficiencies for healthcare systems nationwide. For more information, visit versiti.org.

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SOURCE Versiti