Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) Honors Dr. Ravi Vij, Washington University with 2011 Center of the Year Award

Norwalk, CT — December 21, 2011

The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) today announced that it has awarded Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Ravi Vij, MD, with the 2011 MMRC Center of the Year Award. The MMRC Center of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding efforts of an MMRC Member Institution and its respective principal investigator in advancing the field of multiple myeloma research and drug development.

In awarding the 2011 MMRC Center of the Year Award, the MMRC evaluated its 16 Member Institutions on the number of clinical trials launched, the speed at which clinical trials were opened, and the number of patients enrolled in the clinical trials. MMRC Member Institutions were also evaluated on their contribution of new ideas and institutional engagement. Under the leadership of Dr. Vij, Washington University has enrolled over one hundred and thirty patients onto MMRC clinical trials, providing patients with new treatments they would not have been able to access otherwise. Dr. Vij was also recognized for his effectual stewardship of pharmaceutical and biotech industry partners and, above all, an unwavering commitment to rigorous, team-based science.

“We are proud to work side by side with the MMRC team in Norwalk and other MMRC Member Institutions nationwide to advance innovative clinical trials of today’s most promising new and combination therapies,” said Dr. Vij, who treats patients at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University. “It is our hope that, together, we will continue to bring patients the treatments needed to extend life and bring us closer to a cure.”

The MMRC Center of the Year Award bestows a one-year grant to fund a full-time on-site Multiple Myeloma Project Coordinator to support the clinical trials conducted within the MMRC network.

"The MMRC Center of the Year Award recognizes Washington University and, in particular, Dr. Vij for their phenomenal efforts to bring patients with multiple myeloma the treatments they so urgently need,” said Kathy Giusti, Founder and CEO of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and MMRC. “By working together, we have ensured that patients, including those with advanced disease, can count on us to bring the best drugs into clinical trials where they can receive treatment.”

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC)
The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) is a 509(a)3 non-profit organization that integrates leading academic institutions to accelerate drug development in multiple myeloma. It is led from MMRC offices in Norwalk, Conn., and comprises 16 member institutions: Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas, City of Hope, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute, the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, Ohio State University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, University Health Network (Princess Margaret Hospital), University of California-San Francisco, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, Virginia Cancer Specialists, and Washington University.

The MMRC was founded in 2004 by Kathy Giusti, a myeloma patient, and with the help of the scientific community. The MMRC is an affiliate organization of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), the world's leading funder of multiple myeloma research. The MMRC is widely recognized as an optimal research model to rapidly address critical challenges in drug development and to explore opportunities in today's most promising research areas – genomics, compound validation, and clinical trials. The MMRC is the only consortium to join academic institutions through membership agreements, customized IT systems, and an integrated tissue bank. For more information, please visit: www.themmrc.org.



Washington University in St. Louis
Julia Evangelou Strait, MS, 314-286-0141
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
Anne Quinn Young, MPH, 203-229-0464