STUDIO CITY, CA, February 2, 2024—The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) formally welcomed world-renowned myeloma clinician and researcher S. Vincent Rajkumar, MD as the foundation’s new Chairperson of the Board on Friday, February 2.
Dr. Rajkumar is a Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic; a Member of the National Cancer Institute Myeloma Steering Committee; Chair of the Myeloma Committee, ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group; Editor-in-Chief of Blood Cancer Journal; and Associate Editor of Leukemia, and the European Journal of Haematology. Dr. Rajkumar also served as principal investigator of several clinical trials for the treatment of myeloma, including pivotal trials that led to the regulatory approval of thalidomide for the treatment of the disease in the U.S. He has published more than 480 peer-reviewed papers primarily in the field of multiple myeloma and related plasma cell disorders.
Among Dr. Rajkumar’s accolades include the Jan Waldenstrom Lifetime Achievement Award (2021), the Mayo Clinic Distinguished Investigator Award (2018); and the Robert A. Kyle Lifetime Achievement Award (2016).
“I am honored to be selected for this important role,” said Dr. Rajkumar. “I will strive to build upon Dr. Durie’s incredible legacy. My goal is to empower the superb team at the IMF to excel and to greatly enhance our global impact on research, advocacy, patient support, and physician education. Today, a cure for myeloma is within our reach thanks to major research advances over the last two decades. The IMF must do everything we can to help accelerate our path towards this goal, and to this end we need to grow specifically on the research front. We must identify and develop new collaborations that can help us in our mission to improve outcomes for myeloma patients worldwide.”
IMF Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder Dr. Brian G.M. Durie currently holds the position of Chairman Emeritus and will remain a member of the IMF Board of Directors.
"I am very grateful that the IMF Board of Directors agreed to approve Dr. Rajkumar as the new IMF Chairperson of the Board when I decided not to seek re-election. I will continue fulfilling my roles and responsibilities as a board member and as the IMF's Chief Scientific Officer—overseeing the many exciting active research projects that are ongoing. The future is bright in the search for both prevention and a cure for multiple myeloma," said Dr. Durie.
"We are thrilled to welcome Dr. S. Vincent Rajkumar as the new Board Chairperson of the International Myeloma Foundation. Dr. Rajkumar's remarkable expertise in myeloma research and his deep commitment to patients make him an exceptional leader for our organization. As we enter this new era under his stewardship, we are confident that Dr. Rajkumar's dedication to advancing groundbreaking research will propel us toward accomplishing our shared goals—improving outcomes and finding a cure for myeloma for patients worldwide," said IMF President & CEO and 28-year myeloma survivor Yelak Biru.
Under Dr. Rajkumar’s leadership as the IMF’s new Chairperson of the Board, the IMF will continue to strive to fulfill its mission: Improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure through its concerted efforts in myeloma research, education, support, and advocacy.
Learn more about multiple myeloma and what the IMF is doing in the fight against this lesser-known blood cancer by visiting myeloma.org.
ABOUT MULTIPLE MYELOMA
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow plasma cells — white blood cells that make antibodies. A cancerous or malignant plasma cell is called a myeloma cell. Myeloma is called “multiple” because there are frequently multiple patches or areas in bone where it grows. It can appear as both a tumor and/or an area of bone loss, and it affects the places where bone marrow is active in an adult: the hollow area within the bones of the spine, skull, pelvis, rib cage, and the areas around the shoulders and hips.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION
Founded in 1990, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is the first and largest global 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.