The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was spearheaded by Kathy Giusti and her identical twin sister Karen Andrews. In 1998, Kathy, a graduate of Harvard Business School and a pharmaceutical executive, teamed up with Karen, a corporate attorney, to found the MMRF.
When Kathy was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, she and Karen founded the MMRF with the principle focus of funding transformative research as a catalyst in the development of progressive, life-extending treatments that multiple myeloma patients so urgently needed. Leveraging her past business experience, Kathy, as Chief Executive Officer, applied her business savvy to the science of cancer research and changed the culture of the traditional not-for-profit model. Kathy and Karen optimized the MMRF to run like a Fortune 500 company, with a culture of speed, innovation, and results.
One of the largest hurdles was that scientific teams all over the world were failing to communicate and engage in data exchange. Compounding these failures, the rare and heterogeneous nature of multiple myeloma made it difficult for a single center to enroll enough patients or collect enough tissue samples to properly complete a robust clinical trial.
For several years, Kathy worked alongside the multiple myeloma community to design, execute, and fund groundbreaking collaborative research initiatives that revolutionized clinical research methods and created new opportunities for effective treatments. The MMRF research initiatives include the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium, the MMRC Tissue Bank, the Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative (MMGI), and the Multiple Myeloma Personalized Medicine Initiative (MMPI).
Committed to maximizing the patient-impact of these models, Kathy has shared her approach with many research organizations that are pursuing treatment advances for a number of cancers and other devastating diseases.
The MMRF has played a key role in the progress made against multiple myeloma. Today, as a result, there are a multitude of new drugs available that have more than doubled life expectancy for patients.
Kathy has received many awards for her innovative leadership. Most recently, she was named an Open Science Champion of Change by the White House. In 2011, she was named to the TIME 100 List of the world’s most influential people. She has also received the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Centennial Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Harvard Business School Leadership Award, and the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association's Woman of the Year Award.
Read about Kathy Giusti's transformative approach to cancer research:
- MMRF Featured in Fast Company as "Savvy Renegade...Saving Lives"
Fast Company, April 2013
- Kathy Giusti and Deborah Dunsire, MD Interviewed by Personalized Medicine in Oncology
Personalized Medicine in Oncology, May 2012
- Kathy Giusti Named to the 2011 TIME 100
TIME Magazine, April 2011
Listen to Kathy Giusti speak about the innovative model of the MMRF:
- MMRF Founder and CEO on Huffington Post Live
Huffington Post Live, June 2013
- ForbesWoman Interview with Kathy
ForbesWoman, December 2012
- Healthcare Entrepreneur Kathy Giusti Addresses MBA Class of 2011
Harvard Business School Class Day, May 2011
- Kathy Giusti Highlighted in The Money Chase inside Harvard Business School
CNBC, December 2008
Read articles authored by Kathy Giusti:
- The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation's evolving focus on drug R&D
Nature Biotechnology, July 2012
- Company Profile: Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
Personalized Medicine - Future Medicine, May 2012