June 13, 2016. Norwalk, Conn. The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), a leader in precision medicine, today announced that its founder, Kathy Giusti, whom Fortune recently named as one of three business leaders who are disrupting medicine, has been appointed faculty co-chair of the Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator at Harvard Business School (HBS).
Giusti, an alumna of HBS, will lead the Harvard Business School Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator with HBS faculty member and co-chair Richard Hamermesh under the umbrella of the School’s Health Care Initiative. She will continue to act as a member of the MMRF Board of Directors and take an active role in the organization’s leadership.
The HBS Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator is made possible by a $20M endowment from the Kraft Family Foundation, under the leadership of foundation President, Robert K. Kraft. The Kraft family, through its family foundation, is committed to giving back to the community. The foundation’s primary mission includes supporting education, healthcare, science, and the needs of underserved individuals.
“Precision medicine has the potential to revolutionize the way we prevent, diagnose, treat, and, ultimately, cure cancer and other devastating diseases. I look forward just as much to sharing the MMRF model as I do to learning best practices from other world-class organizations focused on this promising approach,” said Ms. Giusti, who is also a multiple myeloma patient.
“The promise of precision medicine will only be realized if we abandon a siloed approach to research and work collaboratively toward a greater good – two approaches Kathy Giusti has embraced and advocated in her nearly two decades of service to the cancer community. I am certain her vision and leadership of the HBS/Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator will greatly improve the lives of people with cancer and other diseases,” said Robert Kraft.
The mission of the HBS/Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator is to speed innovation and medical breakthroughs in precision medicine, the process by which genomic information and other unique characteristics of a person’s disease are used to predict which treatments will be most effective. The Accelerator will convene best-in-class leaders from the business, medical, scientific, and technological communities to identify and solve challenges slowing the advancement of precision medicine, disseminate best practices and models to overcome these challenges, and, ultimately, enable the faster commercialization of high-impact innovations.
“Many of the biggest challenges in advancing breakthroughs promised by precision medicine are business challenges—how to best develop and commercialize medical solutions for public benefit, and how to optimally share data, for example. HBS is uniquely positioned to address these challenges by drawing on the ingenuity and expertise of our faculty, alumni, and students, and by convening the leaders who can develop innovative new models,” said HBS Dean Nitin Nohria.
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy’s diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world’s number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised more than $300 million since its inception and directs nearly 90% of its total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for 11 consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency.
About the Harvard Business School Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator
The Harvard Business School Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator is a partnership between Harvard Business School, The Robert and Myra Kraft Family Foundation, and the Broad Institute. It was established with a $20 million endowment from the Kraft Foundation with a focus on increasing the rate of innovation in, and adoption of, Precision Medicine models and best practices across disease states.
The Harvard Business School Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator will convene leaders in science, technology, and business to assess the Precision Medicine landscape, prioritize the challenges, and drive to solutions that speed innovation and cures. All knowledge will be widely disseminated throughout the Precision Medicine ecosystem through communications, case studies, and stakeholder education. For more information, visit: HBS Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator.
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