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Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium Honors Vij, Washington University

Julia Evangelou Strait

Kathy Giusti, founder and CEO of the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium, presents Ravi Vij, MD, with the consortium's 2011 Center of the Year award..

Dec. 21, 2011 – The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) today announced it has awarded Washington University School of Medicine and Ravi Vij, MD, with the 2011 MMRC Center of the Year Award. The award recognizes the outstanding efforts of an MMRC member institution and its respective principal investigator in advancing the field of multiple myeloma research and drug development.

In awarding the 2011 MMRC Center of the Year Award, the consortium evaluated its 16 member institutions on the number of clinical trials launched, the speed at which clinical trials were opened and the number of patients enrolled in the clinical trials. Member institutions also were evaluated on their contribution of new ideas and institutional engagement.

Under the leadership of Siteman Cancer Center medical oncologist Vij, Washington University has enrolled more than 130 patients into MMRC clinical trials, providing patients with new treatments they would not have been able to access otherwise. Vij also was recognized for his effectual stewardship of pharmaceutical and biotech industry partners and, above all, an unwavering commitment to rigorous, team-based science.

“We are proud to work side by side with the MMRC team and other MMRC member institutions nationwide to advance innovative clinical trials of today’s most promising new and combination therapies,” Vij says. “It is our hope that together, we will continue to bring patients the treatments needed to extend life and bring us closer to a cure.”

The MMRC Center of the Year Award bestows a one-year grant to fund a full-time on-site multiple myeloma project coordinator to support the clinical trials conducted within the MMRC network.

"The MMRC Center of the Year Award recognizes Washington University and, in particular, Dr. Vij for their phenomenal efforts to bring patients with multiple myeloma the treatments they so urgently need,” said Kathy Giusti, founder and CEO of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and MMRC. “By working together, we have ensured that patients, including those with advanced disease, can count on us to bring the best drugs into clinical trials where they can receive treatment.”