Dr. Erlene Seymour receives prestigious Recent Alumni Award for 2018 through Wayne State University

Erlene Seymour, M.D., member of the Malignant Hematology Multidisciplinary Team at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and assistant professor in the Department of Oncology at Wayne State University School of Medicine (WSU SOM), has been selected as the winner of the 2018 Recent Alumni Award from the school of medicine.

She was nominated by Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Karmanos. Dr. Seymour will receive the award during the Medical Alumni Reunion Dinner on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at MGM Grand in Detroit. 

The Recent Alumni Award is presented to an individual who received a medical degree from WSU SOM within the last 15 years and has demonstrated outstanding professional achievement, community contributions or service to the school of medicine.

“Dr. Seymour is an exemplary clinician researcher,” Dr. Bepler wrote in his nomination letter. “Over her brief tenure, she has already authored 11 peer reviewed publications and book chapters, including a first author publication in Journal of Oncology Practice titled ‘Challenges in the Clinical Application of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Value Framework: A Medicare Cost-Benefit Analysis in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia’.

“Dr. Seymour epitomizes all the tenets of the Recent Alumni Award.”

Dr. Seymour has presented her research findings at annual meetings of the American Society of Hematology. She was recently awarded a pilot project through the American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant mechanism, enabling her to continue studying treatment patterns of care and financial toxicity (i.e. the unwanted side effects as a result of medical care costs, such as non-adherence to treatment and socioeconomic disparities in care, which has been shown to lead to poorer clinical outcomes) among patients with chronic leukemia.

Dr. Seymour graduated from WSU in 2008 with her medical degree. As a medical student, she was active in Code Blue, a group that sent medical students into Highland Park elementary schools to teach health classes and was an elected member of the Aesculapians Honor Society.

She collaborated with her now husband Joseph Seymour, an ear, nose and throat specialist at St. Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor, as a co-coordinator for the 2008 Lampoons event, which benefitted the National Bone Marrow Program (NBMP) in memory of their classmate Uzoma Azuh. The event helped recruit more than 200 volunteers onto the bone marrow registry and generated more than $9,000 in fundraising for NBMP.

Dr. Seymour went on to complete her internal medicine residency and hematology/oncology fellowship, as well as two years as an academic hospitalist, at the University of Michigan. She then decided to return to Karmanos Cancer Institute as an academic hematologist, with a clinical focus on chronic lymphocytic leukemia and lymphomas.

In her first year as a doctor at Karmanos, she joined the School of Medicine Admissions Committee to help recruit promising new medical students. She is a lecturer and has an active role in teaching medical students during their hematology laboratory and clinical rotations at Karmanos.

In the future, Dr. Seymour is interested in having an active role in the Hematology & Oncology Peer Education (HOPE) Program for WSU’s medical students.

“I am thrilled to receive the Recent Alumni Award from WSU SOM and am honored that Dr. Bepler nominated me,” Dr. Seymour said. “My years at the school of medicine were very meaningful to me and gave me the foundation to pursue my interests in hematology and oncology. I enjoy teaching and mentoring WSU’s medical students and the residents and fellows at Karmanos. I look forward to making future contributions to their education and to the field of hematologic research.”

We congratulate Dr. Seymour for winning this award and for her dedication to teaching future oncologists and her cancer research efforts!