The IWMF is proud to welcome three new members to its Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) chaired by Dr. Stephen Ansell of the Mayo Clinic and Dr. Steven Treon of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The new members, Dr. Zachary Hunter from Dana-Farber, Boston, USA, Dr. Christian Buske from Ulm, Germany, and Dr. Monique Minnema of The Netherlands, were invited to participate because of their expertise in specific research areas identified by the IWMF-LLS Strategic Research Roadmap for WM.
The Strategic Research Roadmap initiative began in October 2015 with a Request for Proposals (RFP) from prominent cancer researchers. Click here for more information. It continues today on a yearly basis. These proposals are evaluated by members of the Scientific Advisory Committee, whose recommendations are passed on 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. Funding of new proposals from our latest RFP is expected to begin in late summer 2020.
Dr. Monique Minnema was trained as an internist and hematologist at the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam and the University Medical Center, Utrecht. She started working as a hematologist in 2005 at the Department of Hematology, UMC Utrecht, and specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of B-cell malignancies, especially plasma cell dyscrasias, like Multiple Myeloma, AL amyloidosis, and Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia, and was appointed full professor of hematology in 2019. She is the medical head of the hematology research team, which supervises more than 20 clinical studies. Her focus of clinical research is the development of novel therapies (both cellular and drug) for plasma cell dyscrasias and lymphoma. Dr. Minnema was also a member of the organizing committee of the International Workshop on Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia in Amsterdam in 2016.
Professor Christian Buske, MD. is Medical Director at the Comprehensive Cancer Centre and the Institute of Experimental Cancer Research at the University of Ulm, and an attending Physician and Professor of Medicine at the University Hospital Ulm, Germany. His research focuses on indolent B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma – in particular, follicular lymphoma and Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia – of which he is the Principal Investigator of a Committee, a member of the ESMO Haematological Malignancy Faculty Group, co-ordinates the European Consortium for Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (ECWM) and President of the German Lymphoma Alliance (GLA), the largest study group for lymphomas in Germany. In addition, he is heading a large translational research group focusing on the biology of haematological neoplasms.
Zachary Hunter, PhD is an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, working at the Bing Center for Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. There he coordinates the next generation sequencing and bioinformatic efforts for the group. His current research interests include familial predisposition, alternative splicing, and clonal evolution in Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia. Dr. Hunter was instrumental in finding the MYD88 mutation in Waldenstrom. He continues to work in this area and is now researching next generation RNA sequencing to identify gene signatures associated with recurrent somatic mutations.