International Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia Foundation



Dr. Stephen Ansell, MD, PhD, has agreed to join the IWMF Board of Trustees. Most WMers will recognize Dr. Ansell from his frequent presentations at IWMF Educational Forums, his articles in the Torch, his presentation at the recent CancerCare webinar, and his seminal WM research into the cytokines that regulate IgM production. Dr. Ansell is joining the IWMF Board because he believes that “the IWMF has been a game-changer for WM patients as regards patient support, education, and funding of research. I am excited to be part of what you are doing.”

Dr. Ansell is a Professor Medicine at Mayo in Rochester, where he did his residency after graduating from the University of Pretoria in South Africa. His specialties are hematology and internal medicine.

The IWMF is also pleased to add Drs. Leonard and Makens to its Research Committee. Dr. Leonard is a retired military pilot and physician who is board certified in emergency medicine, aerospace medicine, and occupational medicine. Dr. Makens is a retired military and community pathologist with expertise in clinical chemistry, hepatic and prostatic biopsy pathology, melanocytic skin lesions, cytopathology and hematopathology.

Both Dr. Leonard and Dr. Makens have WM and have been active IWMF supporters.

Each of these physicians was invited to participate as part of the IWMF strategy to strengthen our scientific capabilities. Previously, we announced our alliance with LLS (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) on the IWMF-LLS Strategic Research Roadmap for Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia, and the addition of two prominent researchers, Dr. Brian Van Ness and Dr. Surinder Sahota, to our SAC (Scientific Advisory Committee).

Our Strategic Research Roadmap initiative will formally begin in October 2015 with a Request for Proposals from prominent cancer researchers. These proposals will be evaluated by members of the Scientific Advisory Committee, whose recommendations will be passed to the IWMF Research Committee and to the IWMF Board of Trustees for final selection and approval. The focus areas include cell signaling, genomics and epigenomics, immunotherapy, and the bone marrow and tumor microenvironment. The addition of Drs. Ansell, Maken, and Leonard will significantly enhance our efforts to identify and promote research that will lead to better treatments and, ultimately, a cure.


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