Temple Times Online Edition
    DECEMBER 8, 2005
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Skorski receives prestigious award from Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Photo courtesy the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Beverly Mitchell (right), chair of the Scientific Affairs Committee of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, presents the Stohlman Scholar Award to Tomasz Skorski, associate professor of microbiology and immunology in the School of Medicine, during the society’s Stars & Scholars Luncheon earlier this fall in Arizona.

Leukemia researcher Tomasz Skorski has been awarded the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s prestigious Stohlman Scholar Award in recognition of his “outstanding contributions to the advancement of blood cancer research.”

The award was presented at the Stohlman Scholar Scientific Symposium held in Scottsdale, Ariz., earlier this fall.

From 2000 to 2005, Skorski was a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Scholar while serving as an associate professor of biology and co-director of the Center for Biotechnology in the College of Science and Technology. As an LLS Scholar, Skorski has his salary at the University co-funded by the society.

As of Nov. 1, he moved to the School of Medicine, where he is now an associate professor of microbiology and immunology. Skorski will also continue with a joint appointment as a member of the biology faculty in CST.

The Stohlman Award was created in honor of Dr. Frederick Stohlman, a pioneer in developmental hematopoiesis. A major figure in stem cell physiology research and a highly regarded mentor to a generation of scientists at the forefront of blood cancer research, Stohlman was tragically killed in a 1974 plane crash.

The award is given annually to Society Scholars who are in the fifth year of their research scholarship. Society Scholars are highly qualified investigators who have demonstrated their outstanding ability to conduct original research bearing on leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma.

These scholars typically hold faculty-level or equivalent positions at major research institutions.

In addition to Temple, this year’s Stohlman Scholar Award recipients are from Harvard, UCLA and the Universite de Montreal.

“The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society only gives out four to five awards worldwide, so this was like, ‘Wow!’ for me,” Skorski said. “The four other award recipients are scientists from prestigious institutions, so it was a real pleasure for me to honored with them.”

Skorski has been investigating the molecular mechanisms that cause the chronic myelogenous leukemia cell to become resistant to treatment, as well as developing new therapeutic strategies that will stop mutagenesis in these cells. His research is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, American Cancer Society and Novartis.

In addition to receiving the Stohlman Scholar Award at the symposium, Skorski also organized and chaired a session on “The Consequences of DNA Damage and Unfaithful Repair in Leukemia Cells.” His speakers included researchers and scientists from Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the University of Pennsylvania, Ohio State University and Tufts–New England Medical Center.

“Temple University also shares in this award,” Skorski said. “They gave me a wonderful opportunity, provided me with outstanding facilities and created an environment that encouraged me to pursue my research at the highest level. Without the University’s support, this recognition would not have been possible.”

- By Preston M. Moretz