In 1990, Susie Novis Durie founded the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) along with her late husband, Brian Novis and Dr. Brian G.M. Durie, with these key objectives in mind: advancing myeloma research; and developing and implementing patient and physician educational programs in myeloma.
Novis Durie was elected Executive Director of the IMF in 1992. For 31 years, under her careful direction, the IMF experienced remarkable growth—programs she developed became models for other organizations worldwide.
While attending a physician conference in London, Novis Durie saw doctors “meet the professors.” She strongly felt that myeloma patients should be afforded the same opportunity so they can learn more about the disease and share their experiences with other patients.
In 1994, Novis Durie held the first ever Patient & Family Seminar in Los Angeles—the program that she is most proud of conceiving. Shortly after, the IMF began holding Patient & Family Seminars across the US, then expanded to the UK in 1997. To date, Patient & Family Seminars are being held around the world.
Novis Durie has also testified before the United States Congress to acquire greater resources for multiple myeloma research.
In 2002, Novis Durie was presented with the Joseph Michaeli Award for her outstanding contributions to the understanding, advancement, and treatment of multiple myeloma.
Novis Durie was featured by Investor’s Business Daily in its Leaders & Success column and has since been recognized by worldwide media for important work she has done for multiple myeloma patients and their families.
In April 2019, Novis Durie received a joint honorary doctorate for scientific excellence at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Brussels, Belgium.
After successfully leading the IMF for 31 years, Novis Durie passed the baton to Yelak Biru, who became the organization’s new President & CEO in 2021. She is confident that “Yelak will put his talent and experience as a patient advocate to good use in leading the organization I founded, nurtured, grew, and love so much."
Currently working as the IMF’s Founder & Director of Global Initiatives, Novis Durie is focused on improving the lives of myeloma patients on a global scale.