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Current Chairman of the Board of Directors Brian G.M. Durie, MD will not seek re-election for 2024 term

 

LOS ANGELES, JULY 20, 2023 - The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) today announced that world-renowned myeloma clinician and researcher S. Vincent Rajkumar, MD, has been appointed Chairman-Elect of the Board of the foundation. Dr. Rajkumar will take on the full role as Chairman of the Board when Dr. Brian G.M. Durie’s current term ends in the Spring of 2024. 

Brian G.M. Durie, MD, IMF Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors for 33 years, has informed the IMF Board that he will not seek re-election as Chairman for the 2024 term. Dr. Durie will remain a member of the Board of Directors and will hold the new position of Chairman Emeritus. All his other responsibilities and activities will continue, including his current positions: as Chief Scientific Officer; Co-chair of the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG); Executive Chair of the Asian Myeloma Network (AMN) and the Black Swan Research Initiative (BSRI); and as Co-Leader of the i2TEAMM FDA MRD initiative and a fundraiser for the IMF. Additionally, Dr. Durie will continue doing his Week in Review blogs, the Ask Dr. Durie videos, and many other patient activities.  

Dr. Durie is very pleased that Dr. Rajkumar has agreed to take on the responsibility as Chairman of the IMF Board of Directors. “As one of the leading voices in the myeloma community, Dr. Rajkumar can carry forward the IMF’s mission to connect to the patient and scientific communities to achieve the very best outcomes for myeloma patients everywhere. With input from the Board of Directors, best practices for oversight and governance can help guide the IMF forward with a focus on strongly supporting the IMF staff in their daily dedicated efforts to help myeloma patients. I am thrilled that Vincent will be taking on the role as Chairman,” said Dr. Durie. 

The entire Board of the IMF, including its President and CEO, Yelak Biru, wishes to express its gratitude to Dr. Durie for his years of dedication and service, as well as his enthusiasm for the organization’s new leadership. The appointment of Dr. Rajkumar to take on the role of Chairman was a unanimous Board decision, and the Board is extremely grateful to Dr. Rajkumar for his willingness to accept these new responsibilities. 

“This transition is happening at a very exciting time for the IMF,” said Mr. Biru.” Dr. Rajkumar’s appointment will help to propel us forward, as we undertake a new strategic direction focused on heightened evaluation and purposeful, targeted innovation. I look forward to working closely with Dr. Rajkumar in his new capacity, as we continue to address the needs of patients and their families impacted by myeloma.” 

Nikhil Munshi, MD, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and President of the International Myeloma Society said, “Dr. Durie has admirably served the myeloma community for many decades with incredible expertise and zeal. Dr. Durie's visionary leadership has now paved the way for the appointment of his successor, Dr. Rajkumar, as the Chair of the Board of the IMF. Dr. Rajkumar, who has contributed enormously to myeloma research and clinical advancements, has been instrumental in transforming myeloma from a deadly disease into a chronic condition for a majority of patients. His leadership brings renewed hope, promising affordable access to outstanding new treatments for patients while fostering the continued development of innovative therapies.” 

“I am deeply grateful and honored to be selected for this important role,” said Dr. Rajkumar. “Dr. Durie has given decades of his life to the IMF, and I will strive to build upon his incredible legacy. I look forward to working with the IMF Board, the IMF staff, with myeloma researchers, and with other partners to further the mission of this great organization and to improve outcomes for myeloma patients.”

Dr. S. Vincent 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).   

 

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

Follow the IMF on:  
Twitter: @IMFmyeloma  
Instagram: @imfmyeloma   
Facebook: @myeloma   
LinkedIn: International Myeloma Foundation  

Media Contacts:

Peter Anton
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Jason London
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