Founder of Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Named Co-Chair of Harvard’s Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator

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by Inês Martins, PhD |

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MMRF founder to co-chair HBS Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) has announced that its founder, Kathy Giusti, has been appointed faculty co-chair of the Harvard Business School (HBS) Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator.

Giusti, recently named by Fortune magazine as one of three business leaders who are changing medicine, is a former Harvard Business School student. Giusti will lead the Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator with her co-chair Richard Hamermesh, who is also an HBS faculty member, under the school’s Health Care Initiative umbrella.

Giusti will continue to take an active role in the leadership of MMRF as a member of its board of directors.

“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,” Giusti, who is a multiple myeloma patient herself, said in a press release.

The HBS Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator is a partnership between HBS, the Robert and Myra Kraft Family Foundation, and the Broad Institute. It was established to increase rates of 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.

“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,” said HBS Dean Nitin Nohria. “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.”

The Kraft Accelerator will bring together experts and business, medical, scientific, and technological leaders to identify and solve challenges that might be slowing the development of new precision medicine approaches, to disseminate examples of practices that work best, and to enable the faster commercialization of successful drug candidates.

“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,” Robert Kraft said.

The HBS Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator received $20 million from the Kraft Family Foundation under the leadership of President Robert K. Kraft. The foundation’s primary mission is to support education, healthcare, research, and science, as well as the needs of underserved individuals.