Ohio State Hematologist Recognized Nationally With Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award

April 10, 2014

COLUMBUS, OhioJohn C. Byrd, MD, has again received national scientific recognition for his translational research investigating use of the drug, ibrutinib, in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), at the 2014 Clinical Research Forum’s third annual Top 10 Research Achievement Awards. Byrd is hematology division director and co-leader of the Leukemia Research Program at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital & Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James.)

The Clinical Research Forum’s Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award winners are selected from peer-reviewed, scientific publications published in the previous year that have been identified as compelling examples of scientific innovation with benefit to human health resulting from the nation's investment in clinical research.

Byrd presented his work and publicly accepted this award at the Clinical Research Forum Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner, held April 9, 2014, in Washington, D.C.

Byrd received the Top 10 Research Achievement Award for his June 2013 New England Journal of Medicine manuscript, detailing phase 1/1b clinical trial results showing that ibrutinib significantly prolonged survival in all classes of CLL patients, even those at high-risk of recurrence. The drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration Feb. 12, 2014, for the treatment of CLL. Much of the clinical and basic-science research that led to the FDA was performed by Byrd and scientists at The OSUCCC – James, including Amy Johnson, PhD, Jason Dubovsky, PhD, Samantha Jaglowski, MD, Michael Grever, MD, Jeffrey Jones, MD, MPH, Joseph Flynn, DO, MPH, Jennifer Woyach, MD, Kami Maddocks, MD, and Kristie Blum, MD.

Ibrutinib (Imbruvica®) is the first drug designed to target Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK), a protein essential for CLL-cell survival and proliferation. CLL is the most common form of leukemia and causes a gradual increase in white blood cells called B lymphocytes, or B cells. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that 15,680 Americans were diagnosed with CLL and 4,580 died from the disease in 2013.

Byrd, who is known internationally for his research in hematologic malignancies, is also a 2013 recipient of the prestigious Emil J. Freireich Award for clinical cancer research. The award is given to candidates 55 and younger who have made outstanding contributions to clinical research. Byrd holds the D. Warren Brown chair in leukemia research and leads the $11.5 million NCI Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant and a $6.25 million Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) grant to study and treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia at The OSUCCC – James. The research was also supported by Four Winds Foundation, D Warren Brown Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Thomas, Mr. And Mrs. Lipkin, Harry T. Mangurian Jr. Foundation and the Sullivan CLL Research Foundation.

About the Clinical Research Forum

The Clinical Research Forum was established in 1996 as an opportunity for the nation’s top scientific minds to discuss the complex challenges of clinical research in academic health centers. With nearly 50 institutional members — including Ohio State — the Forum annually brings together clinical research thought leaders to facilitate discussion of common issues/interests in translational research and sharing of best practices.

About The OSUCCC – James

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only four in the United States funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials. The NCI recently rated Ohio State’s cancer program as “exceptional,” the highest rating given by NCI survey teams. As the cancer program’s 228-bed adult patient-care component, The James is one of the top cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S.News & World Report.


Media Contact: Amanda J. Harper, Director of Media Relations, The OSUCCC–James, 614-293-3737 (central media line), 614-685-5420 (direct) or Amanda.Harper2@osumc.edu.

Contact Media Staff

Amanda Harper

Director of Media Relations

614-685-5420 (direct)

614-293-3737 (main)


Media staff are available by calling 614-293-3737 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.


If after hours, please call 614-293-8000 (ask the operator to page the hospital administrative manager).