Hendrix Graduate Named UAMS College of Medicine Distinguished Alumnus

CONWAY, Ark. (April 2, 2014) – Hendrix alumnus Dr. John Byrd will receive the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine Distinguished Alumnus Award at the Dean's Honor Day this month. 

Byrd, a 1987 Hendrix graduate and a 1991 UAMS College of Medicine graduate, is currently the Director of the Division of Hematology and the D. Warren Brown Chair of Leukemia Research at The Ohio State University.

A very accomplished physician-scientist, Byrd has spent most of his career in developing and testing new therapeutics for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).  John had a first author New England Journal of Medicine publication on July 4, 2013 reporting a pivotal trial of the use of ibrutinib in the treatment of CLL.  Ibrutinib is a first-in-class, oral inhibitor of Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK), which is an essential component of B-cell-receptor signaling.  Based on this pivotal trial by Dr. Byrd and his associates, the FDA approved ibrutinib for the treatment of CLL in February.

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the sixth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report.  Hendrix is featured in the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges, as well as the 2014 Princeton Review’s The Best 378 Colleges, Forbes magazine's list of America's Top Colleges, and the 2014 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.