Renowned scientist, clinician and researcher, S. Vincent Rajkumar, has been appointed as chairman-elect of the Board of Directors of the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF).
Dr. Rajkumar takes over from the current chairman, Brian G.M. Durie, who is not seeking re-election to the post.
Dr. Durie, the co-founder and chairman of the Board of Directors for 33 years, has said that he will not seek re-election as chairman when his current term ends in spring 2024. He will, however, remain a member of the Board, hold the position of Chairman Emeritus and continue to perform his current activities.
“As one of the leading voices in the myeloma community Dr. Rajkumar can carry forward IMF’s mission to connect to the patient and scientific communities to achieve the very best outcomes for myeloma patients everywhere,” Dr. Durie said.
Dr. Rajkumar’s appointment was a unanimous Board decision the IMF said in a press release.
Dr. Rajkumar said he was deeply grateful and honoured to be selected for the role. “Dr. Durie has given decades of his life to the IMF. I will strive to build upon his incredible legacy,” said Dr. Rajkumar, a professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic. He is a member of the National Cancer Institute Myeloma Steering Committee; chair of the myeloma committee besides being the editor-in-Chief of Blood Cancer Journal; and Associate Editor of Leukemia and the European Journal of Haematology.
Dr. Rajkumar has 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).
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 the 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.
The IMF was founded in 1999 and is the first, largest global foundation focusing specifically on multiple myeloma. The Foundation’s reach extends to more than 5,25,000 members in 140 countries.