The Gregory T O’Conor Award for Outstanding Contributions to Haematopathology

Dr Gregory O’Conor, a well known American Pathologist died in Natick, MA, on August 22nd at the age of 88. Dr O’Conor was well known for his recognition that the “Sarcoma involving the Jaws in Africa Children,” described in 1958 by Denis Burkitt, was in fact a lymphoma. Subsequently, Dr O’Conor had an extensive career in International Research, serving as the Associate Director of the Office of International Affairs for many years, and spending time at the International Association for Research in Cancer. Even after his retirement, he would frequently visit the NCI and consult on ongoing projects in the Lymphoma Biology Section of the Pediatric Branch as well as the Section of Hematopathology in the Laboratory of Pathology. The award was established, with the permission of Dr O’Conor’s family to honor Dr O’Conor for his pioneering work in hematopathology and to inspire young pathologists by the example he set.

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The first awardee, Dr Elaine Jaffe, was selected by the members of INCTR’s pathology Program for her outstanding work, while at the NCI, in hematopathology. Elaine is recognized as one of the world’s leading hematopathologists who made many contributions to the characterization of lymphoid malignancies and was one of the leading figures in the group of European and American pathologists who worked together to develop the REAL classification, the first to have a truly immunological basis and the forerunner of the World Health Organization classification of hematological malignancies. Her award lecture was entitled: “Principles of WHO Classification of Lymphomas.”

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