Ohio State Leukemia Expert To Join National Academy

May 10, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dr. Clara D. Bloomfield (43015), an international authority on leukemia and lymphoma at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center –Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, is among 212 leaders in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, the arts, business and public affairs who are members of the 2011 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Bloomfield, who is a senior advisor to Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, is invited to attend an induction ceremony on Oct. 1 at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. She is one of only 11 members elected in the Medical Sciences (including Physiology and Pharmacology), Clinical Medicine and Public Health section of the academy.

The new fellows join one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies. A center for independent policy research, the academy is celebrating its 231st anniversary this year. Established in 1780 by John Adams and other founders of the nation, the academy undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems.

The Academy’s 4,000 American Fellows and 600 Foreign Honorary members are scholars and practitioners from many disciplines and professions who conduct a range of interdisciplinary, long-term policy research. Current projects focus on science and technology, global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities and culture, and education.

Bloomfield is a Distinguished University Professor, the highest faculty honor given at Ohio State, recognizing full professors who have truly exceptional records in teaching, research, scholarly work and service.The William G. Pace III Chair of Cancer Research and OSU Cancer Scholar, Bloomfield is also a professor of internal medicine in the divisions of hematology and oncology.

Bloomfield’s 39 years of clinical research in adult leukemia and lymphoma, described in almost 500 scholarly articles have changed the way researchers and oncologists think about leukemia and lymphoma and treat patients. Her work has resulted in the understanding that both diseases are a heterogeneous group of genetic diseases and that the biologic characteristics of the cancer cell should be used to classify the type of leukemia/lymphoma and to select treatment for the individual patient.

Bloomfield first suggested and demonstrated that some adults with acute leukemia, including the elderly, could be cured with chemotherapy. She first showed that certain groups of leukemia patients, defined in particular by genetic characteristics of the leukemia, required intensive therapy for cure, while others could be cured with standard approaches. Her study of chromosomes in leukemia and lymphoma has had enormous impact by aiding in identifying genes involved in development of these disorders and the application of this information for effective individualized therapy. She first identified several chromosome changes in leukemia and lymphoma, and she is considered a leading expert on how chromosome changes influence treatment and outcome of adult acute leukemia.

Her work has translated into new internationally accepted classification systems for these disorders and personalized therapy, allowing each patient to receive the most effective and least toxic therapeutic approach. Her approach to managing these patients has now been incorporated into the major clinical practice guidelines in oncology.

Bloomfield has received numerous national and international awards, including the David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in 2009, and the Henry M. Stratton Medal from the American Society of Hematology in 2008.

Other prestigious awards include her elections as a fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1995 and to the Institute of Medicine, the medical branch of the National Academy of Sciences, in 2000.

She also has received the Joseph H. Burchenal Clinical Research Award from the American Association for Cancer Research; the Distinguished Service Award for Scientific Achievement from ASCO; and the ASCO Statesman Award.

Bloomfield came to Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1997 as director, becoming one of the first women to lead an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center. In 2003, she stepped down to devote more time to research and was appointed the inaugural Cancer Scholar and Senior Advisor for the Ohio State cancer program. She is also Senior Advisor to The Ohio State University’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

She is the past president of the Association for Patient-Oriented Research and the International Association for Comparative Research on Leukemia and Related Diseases.

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (cancer.osu.edu) is one of only 40 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States designated by the National Cancer Institute. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top cancer hospitals in the nation, The James is the 205-bed adult patient-care component of the cancer program at The Ohio State University. The OSUCCC – James is one of only seven centers in the country funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials.


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