The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was founded by Kathy Giusti and her identical twin sister Karen Andrews in 1998 soon after Kathy was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer, at age 37. In 2004, Kathy also founded the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium, a clinical network comprised of academic and community centers and a shared tissue bank. Together, the two organizations pursue a common mission: to accelerate the development of more effective treatments for multiple myeloma, leading to a cure.
Kathy, a graduate of Harvard Business School and a former pharmaceutical executive, recognized the inefficiencies inherent in the current system. She identified obstacles slowing progress and developed models to inject speed into the process and drive collaboration and results for patients.
The organization’s track-record speaks for itself: $225 million raised and directed toward a cutting-edge portfolio of basic, translational and clinical multiple myeloma research programs; the launch of 45 clinical trials 60 percent faster than the industry standard; the first sequencing of the multiple myeloma genome; and a major role in the FDA approval of six new treatments in less than 10 years, which have contributed to a doubling of patient survival.
In 2011, Kathy was named to the TIME 100 List of the World’s Most Influential People. She has received the American Association for Cancer Research Centennial Medal for Distinguished Public Service and the Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award.