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December 2000 Volume 4, Issue 2:
IMF Funds Innovative Myeloma Research

The IMF has announced this year’s recipients of its annual Brian D. Novis Research Grant Program. Dedicated to improving the quality of life for myeloma patients, while working toward prevention and a cure, the IMF has been funding myeloma research since 1994. 

This year, the IMF is awarding close to $1 million in research grant funding. The goals of the IMF are education, treatment and research and we are proud to support the members of the medical community who are working in myeloma. The IMF funds both Junior and Senior investigators – Junior investigators receive funding in the amount of $40,000 and Senior investigators are funded at $80,000. 

While IMF research grants traditionally fund one-year projects, this year’s applicants all submitted project proposals that are considered so promising by the Scientific Advisors comprising the IMF grant review committee, that they have been funded with the strong likelihood of each receiving continuing support based on a mid-project progress report.

This year’s grant recipients include: 

  • Herve Avet-Loiseau, Institut de Biologie Nantes, France Microarray analysis of primary multiple myeloma specimens.
  • Nancy Borson, Mayo Clinic U.S.A. In-vivo analysis of isoforms of B-cell Specific Activating Protein (BSAP) in  malignant and normal bone marrows.
  • Elliot Epner, University of Arizona U.S.A. Cyclin DI deregulation in multiple  myeloma. 
  • Robert G. Fenton, Univ. of Maryland U.S.A. A high-throughput assay for inhibitors of STAT 3 signaling. 
  • Rudi Hrncic, University of Tennessee U.S.A. Immunotherapy & molecular diagnosis  of Al Amyloidosis (third year funding)
  • Klaus Podar, Dana Farber Cancer Institute  U.S.A. The pathophysiological relevance of  VEGF in multiple myeloma  
  • Daniel Sze, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Sydney, Australia Identification of the specificity of  potential myeloma-specific clonal CD8  T cells using TCT transfectants.
  • Amir Toor, University of Arkansas U.S.A. DNA double strand break repair by non-homologous end joining in multiple myeloma.

This year’s grant recipients were selected by a 10-member committee comprised of world-renowned myeloma experts. Using a rating system developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), proposals were scored on a variety of criteria and then ranked. Rankings were based upon the perceived scientific value and innovative thinking behind the research project, as well as the potential benefits associated with conducting such research. One of the primary goals of the Brian D. Novis Research Grant Program is to provide seed money for innovative projects with the hope that the projects selected for IMF funding will see results so promising as to attract additional funding for further study of the topic area. 

The proposals with the best overall rankings were selected for funding. Funding for these grants comes from individual donors and is made possible through the generous contributions from myeloma patients, their families and friends. Funding for this year’s grants has been made possible, in large part, by a dedicated team of IMF members, including: 

  • Circle of Friends – the successful  fundraising arm of the Los Angeles  Multiple Myeloma Support Group
  • Myeloma 200 – an ongoing IMF campaign comprised of individuals working together to raise money for myeloma research
  • Elliot & Marcy Bernstein
  • Benson & Carol Klein
  • Charles & Sharon Newman
  • Mary Lou & Clyde Porter
  • The students, faculty and friends of  North High School Principal Tim Scully

With a long history of supporting myeloma research, the IMF awarded its first Brian D. Novis Research Grant in 1994 and has awarded more than 35 research grants to date. Created in memory of IMF founder, Brian Novis, the grants promote and support research into better treatment, management, prevention and a cure for myeloma. Past research topics funded by the IMF have included the origination of myeloma, pathogenesis of promoting bone healing, prevention of early infections, and genetic events associated with myeloma.

The grants were formally presented in San Francisco, California during the 42nd Annual Meeting of American Society of Hematology (ASH) on Saturday, December 2nd. During the ceremony, individual donors who have funded a grant in full or in large part were on hand to meet with and help present the awards to the researchers.

IMF Booth at ASH 2000 (l-r) Stephanie Colman, Amy Nielsen Palumbo, Susie Novis and Romi Brozeit

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