The MMRC leadership team is an exceptional group of individuals with a broad range of experience across industries and disciplines. Along with key leaders from the MMRF, this group selects and oversees the MMRC’s research efforts.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Paul Giusti was recently appointed as the President & Chief Executive Officer of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), a world-renowned cancer-research organization. Prior to the MMRF, Mr. Giusti worked as a Chief Executive Officer, leader, executive and entrepreneur for over 30 years; he has founded, managed and led a variety of businesses throughout his career.
Most recently, Mr. Giusti served as the Chief Executive Officer of Structural Graphics, an integrated marketing firm. Mr. Giusti led the turnaround and repositioning of the firm, including the launching of a growing online product offering. Mr. Giusti now serves as Chairman of the Structural Graphics’ Board of Directors.
Mr. Giusti is also a Co-Founder and Partner in Halen Homes, a privately-held home building and real estate development company. He is also the Co-Founder and Managing Member of a real estate investment firm.
Early in his career, Mr. Giusti worked for several years as an executive for Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE where he held a number of management positions with a wide range of responsibilities.
Mr. Giusti has worked closely with the MMRF since its founding in 1998. In addition to chairing the current $100 million capital campaign, he has served as a consultant for a number of foundation projects, led several MMRF outreach efforts and spoken on behalf of the MMRF.
Mr. Giusti holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Colorado School of Mines and an MBA from Harvard University.
Chief Financial Officer
Rob Miani joined the MMRF team as Chief Financial Officer in 2016. Most recently he was the Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller of Aptuit, LLC, a global contract research organization providing integrated early discovery to mid-phase drug development services in the pharmaceutical industry.
Rob has over 20 years of leadership experience in the private and public sectors, holding managerial positons in the renewable energy, private equity, Internet and technology industries, including Davenport Newberry, Oak Investment Partners and INT Media Group. He began his career with Arthur Anderson LLP in the Assurance and Business Advisory Services Division. Rob is a CPA and received his BS degree in Accounting from Fairfield University.
Daniel Auclair, PhD
Senior Vice President of Research
Dr. Daniel Auclair, who managed the MMRF Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative from 2007-2010, has rejoined the company after three years at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
As senior leader in the Cancer Program at the Broad Institute, Dr. Auclair was involved with a wide range of academic and industry collaborations centered around cancer genomics and personalized medicine.
Prior to this, he spent a decade in the pharmaceutical industry, most notably at Bayer Healthcare where he led a number of cancer drug discovery efforts.
Dr. Auclair holds graduate and post-graduate degrees in Biochemistry and Nutrition from the University of Montreal and conducted postdoctoral studies at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Cancer Center.
Joan Levy, PhD
Vice President of Research
Over the last eight years, Joan has overseen much of the core elements of the basic and translational research activities of the MMRF/C – not the least of which is the MMRF Genomics Initiative; the MMRF Grants Programs for researchers; the Biotech Investment Award programs; and novel science research grants such as Epigenetics, Proteomics and the Myeloma Cancer Stem Cell. However, it is Joan’s passion for drug development that has fostered such an effective partnership with each of the leading researchers across our MMRC institutions, as well as with Dr. Daniel Auclair, Sr. VP of Research, and the Clinical Operations team, to achieve and maintain a pipeline of promising new treatments flowing into the MMRC to accelerate new treatments for patients. Joan’s experience and demonstrated leadership across these diverse and complex areas enable her to assume direct management responsibility for the Clinical Operations team.
Clinical Operations Manager
Prior to joining the MMRF, Clinical Operations Manager Karen Woolley had over 15 years of experience in clinical research starting out as a research coordinator/data manager at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and then moving into the role of a Clinical Study manager working on clinical trial Phases I-IV, at Roche, Pfizer, Eisai and Forrest Labs she has extensive experience in:
At the MMRF Karen as a Clinical Operations manager she is responsible for the overall day to day project management communications/support among the MMRF and MMRC clinical trials (Phase I-II), network sites and industry/CRO partners. She works with the CRO’s to ensure appropriate Project Plans are established and implemented and managed. Karen negotiates study budgets and assists with the execution of site contracts. Oversees the coordination and communications associated with trial meeting planning and drives trial execution according to MMRCC start up and enrollment benchmarks.
It’s exciting to work with the investigators and the Multiple Myeloma Project Managers at the consortium sites assisting in the opening of trials for new therapy which could be a potential cure or can extend someone’s life. Multiple Myeloma does not discriminate it effects everyone. I am very proud to be a part of an organization that is truly making a difference. Working with the multiple myeloma consortium sites and industry partners to get the results from the studies analyzed to finding the next piece to solve the puzzle.
Clinical Operations Manager
Paul Bassett earned a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Analytical Chemistry from Youngstown State University and a BSN degree from Kent State University. Paul has over 15 years of pharmaceutical drug development experience, leading research teams to develop Zithromax, Caduet, Zyrtec, Zoloft, and anti-cancer drugs such as Fludara, Doxorubicin, Daunorubicin, Cisplatin, and Methotrexate. Paul was also the recipient of a Pfizer Excellence Award for creating a new dosing protocol for Phase I clinical research sites, resulting in an annual savings of 325 million dollars in regulatory and manufacturing costs.
Mr. Bassett used his background as a research chemist and new training as a nurse to serve as a cancer clinical research nurse at the Hartford Hospital in Hartford, CT. This cancer center is affiliated with Memorial Sloan Kettering and sees 5,000 new cancer cases and 50,000 cancer patients annually. Paul was responsible for managing 23 clinical trials in 9 different disease states (Breast, Colon, Prostate, Renal, Bladder, Pancreatic, Esophageal, Melanoma, and Leukemia). Paul was awarded funding to develop a smartphone App that is currently being used by Hartford Hospital medical oncologists to determine patient eligibility in real time, right from the palm of the physician’s hand.
Currently, Paul is a Clinical Operations Manager at the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC). Paul’s focus has been to create enrollment strategies and to drive the study start-up process. The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) was founded in 2004 and is the first collaborative research model of its kind that brings together academic and community cancer centers with industry to advance innovative phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials of today’s most promising drug candidates. There are 22 research sites within this consortium and in 2014, there were 10 new clinical trials opened. There are a total of 18 studies open and actively recruiting.