Global Multiple Myeloma Academy Experts

Rafael Fonseca

Rafael Fonseca, MD

Mayo Clinic, Arizona

Rafael Fonseca, MD, is the Chief Innovation Officer, Getz Family Professor of Cancer, Distinguished Mayo Investigator. He earned his MD at Universidad Anahuac, Mexico. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Miami, FL, and a fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Rochester, MN. He was named a clinical investigator for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fund. He is a visiting healthcare fellow at the Goldwater Institute.

Dr Fonseca’s practice has focused on the diagnosis and treatment of plasma cell disorders and leading the multiple myeloma team in its effort to develop a better understanding of the disease and its impact on patients. In his laboratory, Dr Fonseca has led his team of researchers in concentrating on the genetic nature of the clonal cells of plasma cell disorders, myeloma bone disease, prognostic markers, and development of new therapies for the disease.

Throughout his training and career, Dr Fonseca has received numerous awards and honors, including the Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Clinical Investigator Award, and the International Waldenström Macroglobulinemia Research Award. Most notably, he is a Mayo Clinic Distinguished Investigator, the highest academic distinction given to investigators at his institution. Dr Fonseca holds memberships and serves in positions for organizations such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology, American Association for Cancer Research, and the International Myeloma Society. His research has been funded by the National Cancer Institute (R01, P01, SPORE), the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Multiple Myeloma Research Fund, and the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fund. Dr Fonseca serves as reviewer and in editorial capacities for medical publications including Blood, Lancet, Nature Medicine, Cancer Cell, Leukemia, and the New England Journal of Medicine, among others. He has given many national and international presentations as a visiting professor, and has authored numerous articles (over 300), book chapters, editorials, abstracts, and letters.

Irene Ghobrial

Irene Ghobrial, MD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dr Irene Ghobrial is currently a professor of medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), Harvard Medical School, and the Lavine Family Chair for Preventative Cancer Therapies. She is also an associate member of the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. She is director of the clinical investigator research program at DFCI, director of translational research in the Department of Multiple Myeloma, director of the Center for Prevention of Progression, and co-leader of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center lymphoma and myeloma program. Dr Ghobrial received her MD from Cairo University, Egypt. She completed a residency in internal medicine at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, and then moved to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, to train as a hematology-oncology fellow.

Dr Ghobrial’s laboratory and clinical studies focus on identifying and developing effective therapeutic interventions for precursor conditions of myeloma (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and smoldering multiple myeloma). This can only be achieved by defining genomic and epigenomic markers that are associated with disease progression, microenvironmental changes that affect tumor progression to myeloma, and mechanisms of immune evasion in disease progression. The focus of her research is to identify novel biomarkers of disease progression and help develop potentially curative therapies in the pre-malignant phase that exploit the immune microenvironment in the bone marrow. She developed a large, patient-empowering observational study for these precursor conditions (the PCROWD study) and recruited over 3,000 patients. She is also the principal investigator of the first screening study for multiple myeloma in the US, the PROMISE study. This trial is currently screening 30,000 individuals at high risk of developing myeloma, including those of African American descent or those with first-degree relatives with myeloma.

Dr Ghobrial is a well-funded investigator who received continuous National Institutes of Health funding over the last 12 years and foundation collaborative grants, including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society SCOR program and Stand Up To Cancer grants dream team. She has over 250 publications in many prestigious journals and has presented and led many national and international meetings on myeloma. She is the recipient of the Robert A. Kyle Award for Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, the Ken Anderson Young Investigator Award, and the Mentor of the Year Award at DFCI.

Keith Stewart

Keith Stewart, MB, ChB

University of Toronto, University Health Network, Mayo Clinic

Dr Keith Stewart is Vice President, Cancer, at University Health Network in Toronto, Canada, and Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Program. He is regional vice-president of Toronto Central South Regional Cancer Program, Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario), and holds the Richard H. Clark Chair in Cancer Medicine. He has served in several healthcare leadership roles across both research and clinical practice in Toronto and at the Mayo Clinic, where most recently he was director of the Center for Individualized Medicine.

Dr Stewart earned his medical degree at Aberdeen University Medical School, UK, and an MBA degree at the Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario. He completed an internship at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, UK; a residency in internal medicine at Queens University, Kingston, ON; a fellowship in hematology at the University of Toronto; and a fellowship in research at New England Medical Center in Boston.

Dr Stewart’s research focuses on the biology, genomics, and individualized treatment of multiple myeloma. He has over 30 years of sustained national funding for a laboratory research program in genomics and biology of myeloma, and has led numerous clinical trials of novel therapeutics for this disease from first-in-man to large practice-changing studies. A frequently invited speaker, Dr Stewart gives presentations on his research both domestically and internationally, and has authored over 350 journal articles, abstracts, and other written publications. He has served on the advisory and medical or scientific boards of many private and public institutions, including currently as a non-executive board member of Genomics England.