Since 2003, the IMF has honored an outstanding physician each year with the Robert A. Kyle Lifetime Achievement Award. The award, named for its first recipient, is presented to an individual whose body of work in the field of myeloma has made significant advances in research, treatment and care of myeloma patients.
Our honorees’ work reflects the words of Dr. William Mayo, founder of Mayo Clinic, who challenged the nature of patient care nearly a century ago when he said “The needs of the patient are the only needs to be considered.”
This Year's Recipient
Dr. Vincent Rajkumar
Dr. Vincent Rajkumar, the Edward W. and Betty Knight Scripps Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, has worked closely with Dr. Kyle for 20 years. “Bob Kyle is an inspiration—the person I want to be like, but simply cannot,” said Dr. Rajkumar. The award, he added, is “a reflection of Dr. Kyle’s leadership, vision, and guidance, more than anything I have done. The people who have won this award in the past are giants in the field, and I am very humbled.”
In 1995, Dr. Rajkumar joined Mayo Clinic to train in hematology and medical oncology. He joined the staff in 1999, rising to professor in 2006. His research focuses on clinical, epidemiological, and laboratory research for myeloma and related disorders.
Dr. Rajkumar has led numerous phase I, II, and III clinical trials investigating the role of new agents in myeloma, including the pivotal trials that led to the approval of thalidomide in myeloma in the US, and has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers primarily in the field of myeloma and related plasma cell disorders. Dr. Rajkumar was lead author on the 2014 IMWG Updated Criteria for the Diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma, considered to be a paradigm shift in the approach to multiple myeloma.
In addition to his stellar research credentials, Dr. Rajkumar excels at science communications, serving as Associate Editor for the Mayo Clinic Proceedings; Section Editor for the journal Leukemia; Associate Editor for the European Journal of Haematology; and Editor-in-Chief of Blood Cancer Journal. He is equally adept at sharing medical information through social media, as his thousands of Twitter followers can attest.