26 June 2023

Haematologists and researchers have been honoured in recent awards from a leading charity and the King’s Birthday Honours.

Two researchers won a prestigious award for their work to support the stem cell charity Anthony Nolan.

Dr Robert Wynn, consultant paediatric haematologist at the Manchester Children’s Hospital, was awarded the Clinical Supporter of the Year at the Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards (ANSAs) 2023 for his exceptional work championing cord blood research.

The second award went to Hatem Nawar, cloud customer engineer at Google Cloud. He was presented with the Scientific Supporter of the Year award for his research improving the accuracy of stem cell matches between patients and donors using Google Cloud technology.

Anthony Nolan uses its register to match potential stem cell donors to blood cancer and blood disorder patients in need of stem cell transplants. The charity praised Dr Wynn’s active co-leadership of the UK Cord Blood Initiative, his input to the Graft Selection Strategy Workshop and his publication on the benefits of cord blood transplantation in children.

With more than 10 years’ experience at Google, Hatem Nawar has been an integral part of Anthony Nolan’s research into improving infrastructures for gene sequencing research.

Implementing new technologies, such as Google Cloud, has enabled Anthony Nolan to continue to perform cutting-edge sequencing through its improved storage capacities and flexible computing capabilities.

Henny Braund, chief executive at Anthony Nolan, said: “Both Dr Wynn and Hatem Nawar are hugely deserving winners of these awards; their incredible support and passion for our work is a fantastic example of our charity, which is built on making lifesaving connections. It was lovely to meet Dr Wynn and Hatem and I continue to find myself inspired and humbled by the dedication and strength of supporters like them.

“By raising vital funds and much needed awareness, we are curing blood cancer together. We can give families hope and give more people a future.”

Hatem said: “To even be nominated felt like a great honour, and it felt amazing when I won. It is a recognition of the collaboration with the Bioinformatics team at Anthony Nolan and the incredible work that they do. I'm really glad to be a small part of this effort.”

Dr Wynn added: “We save lives with transplant, and the relationship with the Anthony Nolan underpins all the work that we are able to do. Almost all our transplants are sourced with the Nolan and are from unrelated marrow or cord blood donors. That this award is from the Nolan is therefore especially important and means so much to me.”

Separately, in the first Birthday Honours list for King Charles III, Dr Farrukh Tasnim Shah, consultant haematologist at the Whittington Health NHS Trust in London, was awarded an MBE for services to thalassaemia and sickle cell patients.

Source: Anthony Nolan/Cabinet office

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