Steering Committee - Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

MMRC Steering Committee

Steering Committee
MMRC research efforts are selected and overseen by a dynamic team of experts in the field of multiple myeloma, including representation from world-renowned MMRC Member Institutions as well as key leadership from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. This multidisciplinary team, with expertise in the fields of multiple myeloma research, clinical care, and executive.


Sagar Lonial, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Winship Cancer Institute
Professor and Executive Vice Chair, Department of
Hematology and Medical Oncology,
Emory University School of Medicine

Sagar Lonial, MD, FACP, is internationally recognized as a leading authority in multiple myeloma treatment and research. As a medical oncologist at the Winship Cancer Institute, Dr. Lonial treats patients with multiple myeloma and is a lead member of the bone marrow transplantation team and clinical trials team. He is board certified in hematology, oncology and internal medicine.

Dr. Lonial is involved in numerous professional organizations including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology, and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. He serves as Vice Chair of the Myeloma Committe in the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and as Chair of the Steering Committee for the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium. Additionally, he is on the board of directors for the International Myeloma Society, and on the scientific Advisory Board for the International Myeloma Foundation.


Craig Hofmeister, MD, MPH

Associate Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine

Craig C. Hofmeister, MD, MPH, is Associate Professor of the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine. Board certified in internal medicine and hematology, Dr. Hofmeister’s practice focuses on plasma cell cancers, including plasmacytomas, multiple myeloma, AL amyloidosis, smoldering myeloma, and monoclonal gammopathies of renal significance. He started practicing with Emory Healthcare in 2018.

Dr. Hofmeister’s research focus is on early drug development and investigator-initiated clinical trials exploring novel diagnostics and treatments. As a translational researcher, he has been funded continuously from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) since 2016.


Andrzej Jakubowiak, MD, PhD

Professor of Medicine
Director, Myeloma Program
University of Chicago Medical Center

Andrzej Jakubowiak, MD, PhD, is an internationally known expert on multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in a patient’s bone marrow. He works closely with the Multiple
Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) to bring the latest treatments to the patient’s bedside as quickly as possible.

Dr. Jakubowiak’s primary research focus is in the development of new drugs for the treatment of multiple myeloma. He is currently the lead investigator on a number of multi-site clinical trials for patients who are newly diagnosed, have relapsed, or have refractory (resistant to treatment) disease. Dr. Jakubowiak has received research funding and several grants from the MMRC. He is also the recipient of many honors, including the Myeloma Center of the Year award by the MMRC in 2008 and 2010.

A frequently invited lecturer, Dr. Jakubowiak has presented his research findings at medical meetings around the world. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles as well as 14 book chapters. Additionally, he serves as an ad hoc reviewer for several scientific journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Blood and Leukemia and Lymphoma.


Shaji Kumar, MD

Associate Professor, Medicine;
Assistant Professor, Oncology
Department of Hematology, Mayo Clinic

The research of Shaji Kumar, M.D., focuses on development of novel drugs for treatment of myeloma. Dr. Kumar’s research team evaluates the in vitro activity of novel drugs that, based on their mechanisms of action, are likely to have activity in the setting of myeloma. Promising drugs are brought into the clinic through early-stage clinical trials in Phase I or II studies.

Dr. Kumar also evaluates novel combinations of different drugs to identify synergistic combinations that can result in better treatment responses and eventually better patient outcomes. His work on drug development is complemented by an active program studying the biology of myeloma, with a focus on the study of bone marrow microenvironment in multiple myeloma and how it influences the tumor cells, especially the increased bone marrow microvessels seen in myeloma. His clinical research focuses on outcomes of patients with myeloma and amyloidosis, especially high-risk disease.


Paul G. Richardson, MD

Clinical Program Leader and Director of Clinical Research, Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center Institute Physician Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

After comprehensive training and certification in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, as well as then acquiring additional expertise in Cancer Pharmacology and transplant at Dana Farber Cancer Institute from 1994 onwards, Dr. Richardson joined the Division of Hematologic Oncology and the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center in December 1999. He was appointed Clinical Director of the Myeloma Center in January 2001 and has since led several novel, biologically derived translational efforts in multiple myeloma under the overall direction and mentorship of Kenneth Anderson, M.D. These have been focused in the clinical study of new drugs in the Phase 1, 2 and 3 settings as principal investigator and first author of derived manuscripts; specifically thalidomide, the thalidomide analog lenalidomide [Revlimid], and the first-inclass proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib [Velcade]. Subsequent studies have focused on other novel agents including 2- methoxy estradiol [also known as 2-ME2], histone deacelytase inhibitors (including SAHA, also known as vorinostat) and the HSP-90 inhibitor,17-AAG, also known as tanespimicin, as well as other small molecules, including perifosine and the second generation proteasome inhibitors, NPI 0052 and MLNM 9708, as well as the newest immunomodulatory agent, pomalidomide . His most recent translational clinical innovation has been the combination of lenalidomide, bortezomib and dexamethasone (also known as RVD) first combined in our phase I trial in relapsed disease and now established in the upfront setting as a potential landmark regimen, which is currently under investigation in several multicenter phase III studies. His senior investigator role in the VISTA trial comparing bortezomib in combination with melphalan and prednisone versus melphalan and prednisone alone as part of an international team has proven to be especially productive, as this has been a highly successful study establishing bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone as a new treatment standard in patients not eligible for stem cell transplant.

Currently, he is leading multiple efforts studying the use of combination therapies predominantly in relapsed and refractory myeloma, an area of primary interest to me. He also serves as a principal investigator and study chairman for several clinical trials relating to other areas of myeloma treatment, including the use of combination therapies in earlier disease designed to target resistance and reduce toxicity. His major leadership efforts are focused on the IFM/DFCI upfront study in patients eligible for stem cell transplant in combination with RVD. Finally, an important new area of interest for him is treatment-emergent neuropathy in myeloma, its characterization and strategies to minimize it.


Suzanne Trudel, MD, MSc

Associate Professor , Department of Medicine, University
of Toronto
Associate Scientist , Ontario Cancer Institute

Dr. Trudel received her medical degree from the University of Toronto. Her training included postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Toronto and Weill Medical College at Cornell University. She holds certifications in hematology and internal medicine from the American Board of Internal Medicine as well as the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Dr. Trudel is Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto and Attending Physician at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. She is also an Associate Scientist at the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto.

Dr. Trudel’s research has been supported by major organizations, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the American Society of Hematology, Myeloma Research Foundation, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute. She serves on the steering committee of the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium. Her research interests embrace a wide variety of topics relevant to multiple myeloma. These include molecular target identification and validation and the development of novel biologically based therapies and biomarkers for multiple
myeloma. Dr. Trudel has published her research in numerous referenced journals, including Leukemia, Blood, Clinical Cancer Research, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplantation.


Ravi Vij, MD, MBA

Professor of Medicine, Washington University School of
Division of Medical Oncology
Section of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Leukemia

Dr Vij is Professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology, Section of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Leukemia. Dr Vij’s primary academic interests include the treatment of hematologic malignancies and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. He has research interests in multiple myeloma and AML/myelodysplastic syndromes. He serves on numerous committees including the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) the Core Transplant, Myeloma and Leukemia Committees of the CALGB and Steering Committee of the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium, And the Myeloma Committee of the BMT Clinical Trials Network (CTN). His honors include the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Innovator Award (2013) and the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium Center of Excellence Award (2011).He is an author on over 130 publications in journals such as Blood, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplantation, Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. He has authored a book “Contemporary Management of Multiple Myeloma” and several book chapters including “Multiple Myeloma and Plasma Cell Dyscrasias” for the Washington Manual of Oncology. He has served as a reviewer for journals including Blood, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplantation, Experimental Hematology, and Haematologica.


Kenneth Anderson, MD

Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center,
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dr. Anderson is the Kraft Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School as well as Director of the Lebow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics and Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is a Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Research Scientist and American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor. After graduating from Johns Hopkins Medical School, he trained in internal medicine at John’s Hopkins Hospital, and then completed hematology, medical oncology, and tumor immunology training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Over the last three decades, he has focused his laboratory and clinical research studies on multiple myeloma. He has developed laboratory and animal models of the tumor in it is microenvironment which have allowed for both identification of novel targets and validation of novel targeted therapies, and has then rapidly translated these studies to clinical trials culminating in FDA approval of novel targeted therapies. His paradigm for identifying and validating targets in the tumor cell and its milieu has transformed myeloma therapy and markedly improved patient outcome.

He is the recipient of many scientific and humanitarian awards including: the International Myeloma Workshop Waldenstrom’s Award; the International Myeloma Foundation Robert A. Kyle Lifetime Achievement Award; the American Association forCancer Research Joseph H. Burchenal Award; the American Society of Hematology William Dameshek Prize; the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars; election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of Pathologists (UK); the American Society of Clinical Oncology David A. Karnofsky Award; the Hope Funds for Cancer Research Award of Excellence in Clinical Research; the Ron Burton Humanitarian Award, the Harvard Medical School Warren Alpert Foundation Prize; the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor; the Leonard P. Zakim Patient Advocacy Award; the Samuel Waxman Research Foundation David Workman Memorial Award; and the University of Miami Sylvester Cancer Center Annual Zubrod Memorial Award. He served as President of the International Myeloma Society and is President-Elect of the American Society of Hematology.