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Dr. Brenda Sandmaier named president of American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy

Transplant immunotherapy physician-scientist will serve 2022-2023 term
photo of Dr. Brenda Sandmaier with a computer screen in the background displaying a scientific graphic
Blood stem cell transplantation and immunotherapy physician-scientist Dr. Brenda Sandmaier will serve a one-year term as president of the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

This story is based on an ASTCT press release.

The American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, or ASTCT, announced Dr. Brenda M. Sandmaier as the ASTCT president in 2022-2023.

Sandmaier is a professor in the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and professor of Medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She is a member of ASTCT and the American Society of Hematology, or ASH.

“The opportunity to serve as president of ASTCT is an honor,” Sandmaier said. “My career has been focused on providing allogeneic [donor bone marrow or blood stem cell] transplantation immunotherapy to more patients with hematologic malignancies [blood cancers] around the world, which is in line with the mission of ASTCT. With the ASTCT board of directors, I look forward to advancing science and education in this important and ever-evolving field of medicine.”

Sandmaier becomes president of ASTCT after sequential terms as vice president and president-elect. Following her one-year term as president, she will serve as the society’s immediate past president.

Sandmaier’s research focuses on extending the benefits of transplant immunotherapy to a broader range of patients, including blood stem cell transplant patients who are older or have medical comorbidities, and those who do not have fully HLA-matched (or tissue type-matched) donors. Translating from her laboratory’s preclinical studies, she has conducted clinical trials to prevent graft-vs.-host disease after transplantation with different donor types. Graft-vs.-host disease is a common complication of blood stem cell transplant in which immune cells from the donor attack the patient’s healthy tissues. Sandmaier’s lab has also developed less-toxic conditioning (pre-transplant preparatory) regimens, such as radioimmunotherapy, that have been clinically translated to treat patients with hematologic malignancies and nonmalignant, including inherited, blood disorders.

Sandmaier previously served on several national committees for ASTCT, ASH and the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, or CIBMTR, including serving as director at large on the ASTCT board of directors, member and chair of the ASH Scientific Committee on Transplantation Biology, member and chair of the CIBMTR Nominating Committee and, most recently, chair of the CIBMTR Acute Leukemia Working Committee.

Honors and presentations at annual meeting

Sandmaier assumed the role of ASTCT president at the 2022 joint annual meeting of the ASTCT and CIBMTR, called the Transplantation & Cellular Therapy, or Tandem, Meetings, which took place from April 23-26 in Salt Lake City.

In addition to Fred Hutch science presented at the meeting, several Fred Hutch researchers were honored there for their contributions to the field of transplantation and cellular therapy:

  • Dr. Effie Petersdorf, who holds the Madeline Dabney Adams Endowed Chair in AML Research, received the ASTCT Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Dr. Stephanie Lee presented the Mortimer M. Bortin Lecture titled, “Progress in Chronic Graft-vs.-Host Disease Over the Past Two Decades: It Took a Village." Lecturers are chosen based on their contributions to scientists’ understanding of graft-vs.-tumor effects and/or their contributions to the advancement of clinical transplantation research. Lee holds the David and Patricia Giuliani/Oliver Press Endowed Chair in Cancer Research at Fred Hutch.
  • Dr. Karen Syrjala received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the ASTCT Survivorship Special Interest Group.
  • Dr. Simone Minnie of the Hill Lab and Dr. Anu Hall, a research associate in Pediatric Oncology mentored by Dr. Scott Baker, both received ASTCT New Investigator Awards.

On April 1, 2022, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance became Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, a single, independent, nonprofit organization that is also a clinically integrated part of UW Medicine and UW Medicine’s cancer program. Read more about the restructure.

Read more about Fred Hutch achievements and accolades.

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Last Modified, April 26, 2022