LOS ANGELES—During a a ceremony at his office in Sherman Oaks on July 5, Rep. Brad Sherman honored Dr. Vergine Madelian with a Special Congressional Recognition, in appreciation of her outstanding and invaluable service to her community. Congressman Sherman (D-Calif.) represents the San Fernando Valley in the US House of Representatives.
As Congressman Sherman presented the award to Dr. Madelian, he noted, “A research scientist and a lecturer at California State University, Northridge, Dr. Madelian is a volunteer member of the Los Angeles-based, nonprofit Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR), serving as its secretary and heading its Outreach and Education programs. Today, I’m privileged to present her with this Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, in acknowledgment of her selfless, more than 15-year service to ABMDR’s life-saving mission.”
After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Dr. Madelian completed her post-doctoral training at the Wadsworth Center for Labs and Research (New York), where she worked as a research scientist for the next 30 years. In the past 14 years, she has been a lecturer in Cell Biology and Microbiology at California State University, Northridge. She was a Visiting Scientist at the Laboratories of Cellular and Molecular Metabolism at the National Institutes of Health and at the Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine. She has authored several book chapters and over 60 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, and over 300 articles at national and international scientific conferences.
While living in New York, Dr. Madelian taught language and culture to Armenian teenagers. In Los Angeles, she served as board member and executive director of Yerkir, an organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people in border villages in Artsakh and Armenia.
“Ever since joining ABMDR in 2003, Dr. Madelian has been a powerful force in helping propel it forward,” said ABMDR President Dr. Frieda Jordan and continued, “In her capacity as ABMDR secretary and head of Outreach and Education, Dr. Madelian is involved in all aspects of our organization’s activities, including presentations at regional, national, and international scientific conferences. From the get-go, she has dedicated her scientific knowledge as well as wonderful organizational, writing, and presentation skills to the goal of establishing a dynamic Outreach Program.”
Dr. Madelian regularly trains ABMDR volunteers in outreach and education, as well as recruitment protocols. She travels throughout the US to introduce the concept of bone marrow transplantation and its life-saving function to the public. Extending ABMDR’s role in educating and encouraging the young generation, she has visited many schools to serve as judge in science fairs, to counsel students in career fairs, and to speak about blood cancers, various treatments, stem cells, and transplantation. She also interacts extensively with patients and their families, helping them navigate through their difficult journey of understanding and combating life-threatening illnesses.
In 2011, Dr. Madelian was instrumental in the publication of a seminal scientific paper about the tissue types of a large population sample of Armenians from various regional ancestries, collected and analyzed by ABMDR. This publication has become a key reference for scientists and physicians worldwide involved in tissue-typing and transplantation work.
Established in 1999, ABMDR, a nonprofit organization, helps Armenians and non-Armenians worldwide survive life-threatening blood-related illnesses by recruiting and matching donors to those requiring bone marrow stem cell transplants. To date, the registry has recruited over 29,000 donors in 42 countries across four continents, identified over 4,190 patients, and facilitated 30 bone marrow transplants.