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Michael DeiningerThe 2019 Rowley Prize is awarded to Professor Michael Deininger

Michael W. Deininger, Professor of Internal Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Oncological Sciences at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, has been awarded the 2019 iCMLf Rowley Prize. The Rowley Prize is awarded to celebrate people who have made outstanding lifetime contributions to the understanding of the biology of CML.

Michael Deininger receives the prize in recognition of his involvement in researching the biology of CML that has contributed to the establishment of tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) based therapies in CML and has significantly transformed the way CML is being diagnosed, treated and monitored today. As a clinician-scientist with a translational research focus, Professor Deininger has been researching the biology and therapy of CML for more than 20 years now constantly aiming to develop new and more effective therapies and strategies to prevent drug resistance.

His laboratory has been intimately involved in the development of small molecule inhibitors of the BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase. They have identified point mutations in BCR-ABL as an important pathway of escape. Based on this knowledge, structure-based incremental improvements have led to second and third generation TKIs with increased potency and reduced vulnerability to BCR-ABL mutations.

Current work in his lab is focused on understanding the role of the bone marrow microenvironment in leukemia drug resistance, discovering novel therapeutic targets and developing more specific signal transduction inhibitors. His team has discovered that extrinsic signals from the bone marrow microenvironment protect CML stem cells upon TKI inhibition of BCR-ABL. Characterizing these signals may identify novel therapeutic opportunities to eliminate residual CML cells. His work has led to the identification of the MS4A3 signalling protein as a novel tumor suppressor in CML, and current work is focused in understanding MS4A3 regulation and function.

Michael Deininger is Professor and Chief of the Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies and Senior Director for Transdisciplinary Research in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. He received his MD from the University of Würzburg and subsequently trained in internal medicine and hematology/oncology at Nuremberg General Hospital and the University of Leipzig in Germany. After receiving his Ph.D. in leukemia biology from the Imperial College of London, Deininger completed an additional clinical fellowship in bone marrow transplantation in the Department of Hematology at the University of Leipzig.

His scientific work encompasses more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including Cancer Cell, Blood, Journal of Clinical Investigation and the New England Journal of Medicine. Over the years he has trained and mentored a considerable number of pre- and postdoctoral students and clinical fellows.

Learn more about Michael Deininger here