Los Angeles, CA, June 15, 2021—The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) congratulates the recipients of the 2021 IMWG Awards, given annually by the International Myeloma Working Group, a research division of the IMF. The awards presented at the 12th Annual IMWG Summit, which will be held virtually June 22–23, recognize excellence in myeloma research. More than 100 international blood cancer experts will gather at the Summit to collaborate on new treatment guidelines and ongoing research projects leading to a cure.
Dr. Nikhil Munshi will receive the Robert A. Kyle Lifetime Achievement Award, named for the world-renowned myeloma expert and honoring those whose work has resulted in significant advances in research, treatment, and care of myeloma patients. Dr. Shaji Kumar will receive the Brian G.M. Durie Outstanding Achievement Award, named for the IMF Chairman, Dr. Brian Durie, in recognition of excellence in myeloma research.
“Our honorees have continued to build on the work of Dr. Kyle, which has resulted in so many promising advances,” Dr. Durie said. “We applaud their accomplishments and important contributions to improving the lives of myeloma patients. We hope that they and their work inspire the researchers who attend the IMWG Summit to aim even higher to help us understand and ultimately find a cure for this disease.”
Dr. Nikhil Munshi is the Kraft Family Chair and Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and the Director of Basic and Correlative Science, and Associate Director of the Jerome Lipper Myeloma Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. He is an attending physician at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
“It is an incredible honor to receive this award named after the pioneer in myeloma and leader of clinical studies, Dr. Robert Kyle,” said Dr. Munshi. “It recognizes the contributions of many—most importantly the patients. With their help and motivation, I think a cure is on the horizon.”
Dr. Munshi's research focuses on understanding genomic changes in myeloma and molecular mechanisms driving cancer, as well as improving diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutics. His clinical interests include CAR T-cell therapy and novel targeted therapeutics.
Dr. Shaji Kumar is a consultant in the Division of Hematology and the Mark and Judy Mullins Professor of Hematological Malignancies at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He is Chair of the Myeloma, Amyloidosis and Dysproteinemia Disease Group, and an Associate Chair for research in the Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
“The myeloma community has been a second family to me, and I am deeply honored to be receiving this recognition,” said Dr. Kumar. “It has been my privilege to work with my colleagues all these years to improve the outcomes of patients with myeloma and related disorders, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to be part of this journey.”
Dr. Kumar is the principal investigator of clinical trials exploring new drugs and combinations for newly diagnosed and relapsed myeloma. His laboratory focuses on understanding the role of bone marrow microenvironment in the development and progression of myeloma.
“These two extraordinary researchers have made tremendous impacts on the diagnosis and treatment of multiple myeloma,” said Dr. Durie. “While the disease is as yet incurable, the extraordinary efforts of Dr. Munshi and Dr. Kumar are getting us closer to a cure.”
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION
Founded in 1990, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is the first and largest foundation focusing specifically on multiple myeloma. The Foundation’s reach extends to more than 525,000 members in 140 countries worldwide. The IMF is dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure by focusing on four key areas: research, education, support, and advocacy. The IMF has conducted more than 250 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned InfoLine, and in 2001, established the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), a collaborative research initiative focused on improving myeloma treatment options for patients. In 2012, the IMF launched the Black Swan Research Initiative®, a groundbreaking research project aimed at curing myeloma. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE (2873). The global website is www.myeloma.org. Follow the IMF on Twitter @IMFmyeloma.