Feinstein Institute Researcher, North Shore-LIJ Leukemia Expert Receives 2014 Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology

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MANHASSET, N.Y., July 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kanti R. Rai, MD, an internationally renowned leukemia researcher and hematologist, will be recognized for his 50-year career combining landmark clinical leukemia research, steadfast commitment to education and mentoring and exceptional patient care by the American Society of Hematology (ASH) with the Society's highest honor, the 2014 Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology, the North Shore-LIJ Health System announced today.

ASH President Linda J. Burns, MD, of the University of Minnesota, will present Dr. Rai with his award on December 7, during the 56th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Francisco.
Dr. Rai, of Great Neck, NY, is an investigator in the Peter Karches Center for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, the chief of the CLL Research and Treatment Program at the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute, and the Joel Finkelstein Cancer Foundation Professor of Medicine at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, where he also holds the title of Professor of Molecular Medicine.

"With his unwavering commitment to hematology spanning more than five decades and his innumerable contributions to the field and to ASH, Dr. Rai exemplifies the values of the Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology," said Dr. Burns. "From the Rai staging system to his many clinical contributions, Dr. Rai is internationally synonymous with CLL, which serves as a testament to the great impact of his career on legions of colleagues, trainees, and patients."

The award is given to a "vital contributor" to the field of hematology, demonstrating lifetime achievement and leadership in research, education, and practice. The award commemorates the innovative spirit, visionary leadership, and entrepreneurship of Wallace Henry Coulter, who was an inventor most widely known for the development of the Coulter Principle – an established methodology for counting, measuring, and evaluating cells and microscopic particles suspended in fluid. Mr. Coulter's revolutionary technique provided the medical community with a new method for screening diseases through basic blood tests. The significance of Mr. Coulter's research is commemorated each year through the prestige of this award.

He is an international leader in the clinical evaluation and management of patients with CLL and his research in the field of CLL has pioneered contemporary approaches to this disease. Dr. Rai has been involved in diagnosing and treating CLL for almost 40 years and his publication of the "Rai" prognostic categorization of CLL in the journal Blood in 1975 was a landmark article still used by physicians and clinical investigators.

Dr. Rai has collaborated for years with Nicholas Chiorazzi, MD, and other CLL scientists at the Feinstein Institute. Dr. Rai and colleagues helped to establish the importance of fludarabine, now a standard-of-care treatment for CLL, and demonstrated the effectiveness of cladribine in treating hairy cell leukemia. Dr. Rai continues to pursue his interests in the study of the natural history of human leukemias and the molecular biology of CLL, as well as the study and identification of promising new agents in the treatment of CLL.

About The American Society of Hematology (ASH)

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 more than 50 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy. The official journal of ASH is Blood; the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online.

About The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Headquartered in Manhasset, NY, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research www.feinsteininstitute.org is home to international scientific leaders in many areas including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, psychiatric disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, sepsis, human genetics, pulmonary hypertension, leukemia, neuroimmunology, and medicinal chemistry. The Feinstein Institute, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, ranks in the top 6th percentile of all National Institutes of Health grants awarded to research centers. For more information, visit www.FeinsteinInstitute.org.

A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=26709

CONTACT: Emily Ng 516-562-2670 eng3@nshs.edu

Source:North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System