Coates and Wood Receive Russell Smith Award For Iron Overload Work

July 14, 2009 – CAF congratulates Medical Advisory Board members Thomas D. Coates and John C. Wood for being named the recipients of the 13th H. Russell Smith Award for Innovation in Pediatric Biomedical Research.


Coates is section head of hematology and director of the Red Cell Defects and Hemoglobinopathy program at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. Wood is director of the Cardiovascular MRI program for the Division of Cardiology and co-director of the Thalassemia Program at Childrens Hospital. The scientists will be honored in ceremonies at The Saban Research Institute on July 14.

Coates and Wood are being recognized for their innovative translational work in the understanding of physiologic and cellular consequences of iron overload in patients with hemoglobinopathies and in the development of innovative methods to measure iron overload in these patients and in applying these techniques to monitor new therapies in these children, according to Yves De Clerck, director of The Saban Research Institute and professor of pediatrics, biochemistry and molecular biology at the Keck School.

“Their work demonstrates how the synergistic combination of different disciplines and teamwork can advance science and directly impact clinical treatment,” he said.

Coates received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sickle Cell Foundation of California in November 2007. He has authored more than 250 peer-reviewed articles, abstracts and book chapters.

“While I had no intention of ever going into medicine, it turns out that providing care to sick children is what I enjoy most,” Coates said. “Having great colleagues with depth of knowledge in math and physics who allow me to do research in the domain of my first interests and bridge the gap between physiology and engineering has really been very rewarding.”

Wood received the Alfred F. Towsley Award for Pediatrics and the Outstanding Fellow Teaching Award. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts and abstracts and has been invited to present at 30 conferences.

His major areas of research interest include noninvasive estimation of liver iron content in transfusional iron overload and magnetic resonance imaging processing with emphasis on filtering, edge detection and segmentation.

“I am quite honored to receive this award,” Wood said. “Our work wouldn’t have been possible without the strong support from the leadership in the divisions of cardiology and hematology-oncology and the departments of pediatrics and radiology.”

Th H. Russell Smith Award was established in 1988 to recognize individual scientists who have made outstanding contributions in the field of pediatric research at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. It is bestowed periodically, with nominations evaluated by an external scientific committee and was established by former chairman of the CHLA Board of Directors, H. Russell Smith.

CAF is thrilled that two such dedicated and knowledgeable individuals as Drs. Coates and Wood were selected to receive this honor.

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