02.17.22

Black History Month Spotlight: Allistair Abraham, MD

ASTCT asked Allistair Abraham, MD, questions about what it is like to be a a person of color in the transplantation and cellular therapy field in celebration of Black History Month, February 2022.

What inspired you to enter the BMT and Cellular Therapy field?

After taking care of patients with sickle cell disease in the emergency room as a pediatric resident I felt much more should be done for these kids who were clearly suffering. Then one of my BMT attendings introduced me to one of his patients with sickle cell disease who had been cured with BMT and that blew my mind. He convinced me that I could be like him and cure patients. I was immediately sold. Being a person of color, I felt encouraged that my BMT was also a person of color and I could succeed like him.

How do you inspire others?

I hope by showing passion and resilience in my own work and life. I also try to keep a positive outlook. Life’s too short so I try to make each day count.

What does it mean to you to be a person of color in this field?

I hope I am convincing others to dream big and that physical appearance should not hold you back.

Is there anything else you would like to say to the ASTCT community?

I believe diversity drives innovation, don’t be afraid to be open-minded.

 

About Allistair Abraham, MD:

Dr Abraham is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Science. He is also an attending physician and researcher in the Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation at Children’s National Hospital in Washington DC where he directs the sickle cell transplant program. He was a Physician Scientist trainee at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and is currently an American Society of Hematology Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development award scholar and Doris Duke Charitable foundation grantee. His current research focus involves reducing the toxicity of transplantation and increasing donor options so more patients with sickle cell disease can have access to curative treatments. In the laboratory Dr. Abraham studies virus-specific immune recovery and mechanisms of rejection after transplant with the goal of making transplants safer and more effective.

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