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Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Founder and CEO Receives Prestigious Leadership Award for Precision Medicine


Kathy Giusti Recognized at 9th Annual Personalized Medicine Coalition Conference

Norwalk, CT — November 7, 2013

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) today announced that Founder and CEO Kathy Giusti received the 2013 Leadership in Personalized Medicine Award by the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) for her work in advancing personalized medicine. The PMC Award recognizes an individual whose contributions in science, business, and/or policy have helped advance the frontiers of personalized medicine. The award was presented at the Personalized Medicine Conference held at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts at which Giusti delivered her vision of personalized medicine.

“Kathy's vision and contributions in myeloma therapies personify what a leader should stand for in the advancement of Precision Medicine and that is why I can’t think of a better recipient to receive the PMC Leadership in Personalized Medicine Award,” said William S Dalton, PhD., M.D., Director, Personalized Medicine Institute, Moffitt Cancer Center and CEO, M2Gen, who also nominated Giusti for this year’s award. “I have known Kathy since the days when she started the MMRF. Her ability to combine business know-how, cutting-edge technology and a passion for philanthropy to change the world for the better is inspiring to us all.”

With the help of donors and world class partners, the MMRF has built one of the strongest cancer communities in the country—all for a little known, uncommon fatal disease that up until 15 years ago had few treatments to speak of.

Today the organization is leading the way in cancer research, with innovations like its landmark MMRF CoMMpassSM Study where clinical and genomic data are tracked over a patient’s journey with the disease. The goal is to follow 1,000 patients over a five year period, conducting sequential tissue samplings to identify how their molecular profile affects their clinical progression and individual response to treatment. The MMRF is making data from the CoMMpass Study openly available to researchers globally through the MMRF Researcher Gateway, an open access data platform.

"By collecting, aggregating, and sharing data, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, under the leadership of Kathy Giusti, has brought together knowledge and capital to address a serious illness with implications for the future of medical progress generally,” said Edward Abrahams PhD., President, Personalized Medicine Coalition. “The Personalized Medicine Coalition is pleased to honor Kathy with its award for leadership in recognition of her pioneering efforts."

The Personalized Medicine Conference is co-hosted and presented by Partners HealthCare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine (PCPGM), Harvard Business School and Harvard Medical School. The Conference is organized by PCPGM in association with the American Association for Cancer Research and the Personalized Medicine Coalition. The distinctive collaboration of this group of organizations reflects the diversity, depth and breadth of the Conference’s program.

About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer. The five-year relative survival rate for multiple myeloma is approximately 41 percent, one of the lowest of all cancers. In 2013, more than 20,000 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma and nearly 11,000 people are predicted to die from the disease.

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy's diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world's number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised over $225 million since its inception and directs 90% of total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for 10 consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency. For more information about the MMRF, please visit: www.themmrf.org.

About the Personalized Medicine Coalition:
The Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC), representing innovators, scientists, patients, providers and payers, promotes the understanding and adoption of personalized medicine concepts, services and products to benefit patients and the health system. For more information about PMC, visit www.PersonalizedMedicineCoalition.org.

Media contacts:
MMRF
Anne Quinn Young, MPH
203-536-8691
QuinnYoungA@themmrf.org