Dr. Margaret "Peggy" Goodell, director of the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Center at Baylor College of Medicine, has been named the American Society of Hematology's 2012 William Dameshek Prize winner, an annual honor that recognizes an investigator who has made outstanding contributions to hematology research.

Goodell will be presented with the award at the 2012 annual meeting of the society Dec. 8­-11 in Atlanta.

Her research focuses on the molecular regulation of hematopoietic stem cells ­ the cells that initiate the formation of different kinds of blood and immune cells. A major goal of her research is to identify genes that are responsible for keeping hematopoietic stem cells in a dormant state as well as those that initiate cell division, which may have implications for understanding the basis of some anemia, and also for cancers of the blood.

Goodell is a professor in the departments of pediatrics and molecular and human genetics and a member of the BCM programs for cell and molecular biology; developmental biology; translational biology and molecular medicine; the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy; and the NCI-designated Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center.

"It has been a genuine privilege over the past 15 years to watch Peggy develop from a freshly minted assistant professor to an acknowledged world-leader," said Dr. Malcolm Brenner, director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at BCM, The Methodist Hospital and Texas Children's Hospital. "From her graduate student days onwards, Peggy's work always showed her trademark of independence from conventional thinking coupled with rigorous scientific study ­ the essential combination for truly creative research. The Dameshek prize is a wonderful and well-deserved validation of all she has accomplished."

The award is named for the late Dr. William Dameshek, a past president of the American Society of Hematology and the first editor and founder of its journal, Blood.

"Dr. Goodell has made critical contributions to hematology research, particularly in the area of hematopoietic stem cells, where she has transformed the way hematologists understand stem cell biology and how we approach and perform bone marrow transplants," said ASH President Dr. Armand Keating, of Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. "The Society is honored to present her with this award, as she has consistently demonstrated excellence in research, leadership, and mentoring."