IWMF Educational Forum-Meet Our Speakers

Our 2021 Virtual Ed Forum Speakers

A faculty of leading Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia experts and healthcare professionals will deliver high-quality presentations to help you better understand WM and learn about the latest breakthroughs in Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia treatments and care. Below are the bios for each presenter with the dates, times, and topics of their presentations.


Jeffrey Matous, MD

Medical Director, Colorado Blood Cancer Institute

Jeffrey V. Matous MD is presently the Medical Director at the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute, and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado. After graduating from Medical School in 1985 from the University of Washington, he completed an Internal Medicine residency and chief residency at the University of Colorado. Fellowship training in Hematology and BMT followed at the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where he worked in the lab of Dr. Ken Kaushansky. Since 1994 he has worked in private practice in Denver focusing exclusively on the care of patients with blood cancers, focusing on WM, myeloma and amyloidosis. He is an enthusiastic educator and a member of committees of both ASH & ASCO. Most prominently he has been married for many years to Marie, and three children: Ben, Joe & Catherine. He enjoys cycling, languages and is a passionate fan of our nation’s pastime.

WM & Basic Terminology
October 6 @ 11:00AM ET

Rafat Abonour, MD

Harry and Edith Gladstein Professor of Cancer Research
Professor of Medicine, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Director, Multiple Myeloma, Waldenstrom’s Disease and Amyloidosis Program

Rafat Abonour, MD is Professor of medicine, pathology, and laboratory medicine at Indiana University where has worked since 1995. Dr. Abonour earned his medical degree from the University of Damascus in Syria. He completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in hematology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dr. Abonour established the multiple myeloma and plasma cell program at Indiana University. His clinical interests include studying novel therapies including immunotherapy, quality of life, and precursor conditions. Dr. Abonour is principal or co-investigator of several completed and on-going clinical trials. Dr. Abonour has authored or coauthored numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters, and review articles. His works published in key medical research journals including Blood, New England Journal of Medicine and Nature Medicine.

Dr. Abonour is a member of the Eastern Cooperative Group Data Monitoring Committee for Myeloma, the Scientific Research Committee at Indiana Cancer Center, and the Indiana University Executive Review Board. Dr. Abonour has joined the International Myeloma Foundation in 2015 as their medical liaison to Europe. In addition, he is actively involved in a number of professional societies including the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He has lectured nationally and internationally and received numerous awards, including the Trustee Teaching Award from Indiana University and the Excellence in Cancer Care Award from the Indianapolis Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Dr. Abonour received a Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest honor an Indiana governor can bestow in 2010.

Understanding Your Blood & Bone Marrow Tests
October 6 @ 12:30pm

Sikander Ailawadhi, MD

Professor, Division of Hematology-Oncology at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville

Dr. Ailawadhi is a Professor with the Division of Hematology-Oncology at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and joined the Division in 2014 when he moved from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles where he was an academic faculty with Hematology.

His career focus has been on treatment of plasma cell disorders, namely multiple myeloma and Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, and also chronic lymphocytic leukemia. His research has focused on understanding the epidemiology and pathophysiology of these disorders, evaluating the benefit of various therapeutic strategies in different populations based on racial-ethnic and socioeconomic diversity, as well as developing novel therapeutics by means of conducting several regional and national clinical trials. These have included phase 1 through phase 3 clinical trials for novel drugs including cellular therapy such as car T-cell treatment. Dr. Ailawadhi has a special interest in understanding the disparities in care of cancer patients and their outcomes with a special focus on patients from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. To achieve this he has done several extensive analyses from large national databases and is focused on improving clinical trial accrual across the country, especially for patients from racial and ethnic minorities.

Genomics/Science of WM
October 6 @ 2:00 PM ET


Julie Larson, LCSW

Julie Larson is a psychotherapist who has spent her career working in oncology supportive care. She has a vibrant private practice working primarily with individuals under the age of 40 years facing an unexpected medical diagnosis. Julie is a frequent speaker and educator to both survivor and professional audiences on the impact of a serious illness at a young age, living fully after a cancer diagnosis and resilience.

Julie’s clinical work integrates cognitive behavioral, mindfulness and narrative therapies. Working alongside her clients and audiences, she helps people identify inherent strengths and cultivate additional resilient behaviors to build confidence in the ability to navigate hardship. Julie’s clinical work has led her to be a trusted advisor to many advocate organizations. She has been featured in various publications including: Coping Magazine, CURE, Refinery 59 and many wellness and survivor blogs.

Dealing with the Stress of Medical Uncertainty
October 13 @ 11:00 AM ET

Maureen Hanley, OD

Faculty member at the New England College of Optometry

Dr. Hanley is an associate professor at the New England College of Optometry. She is co-course master for the Ocular Disease Principles courses and the Principles of Anterior Segment Diseases course.

After earning a Doctor of Optometry from the New England College of Optometry, Dr. Hanley completed a residency in hospital-based optometry at the West Roxbury VA Medical Center. She was a clinical preceptor for many years in numerous clinics affiliated with the College. She was a clinical preceptor in the VA Boston Healthcare System for 14 years. During this time, she was both a preceptor for fourth year students and an attending optometrist for residents at the West Roxbury VA Medical Center. Presently, Dr. Hanley is a preceptor at the Uphams Corner Eye Clinic.

Dr. Hanley was been honored with the Dupuis Pellerin Award for Faculty Excellence and the Foster Namias Award for superior classroom instruction. In addition to her responsibilities at the College, Dr. Hanley frequently gives continuing education lectures to optometrists in the areas of visual fields, glaucoma, Waldenstrom’s and ocular disease. Maureen is probably best known for her articles in the Torch Waldenstrom and the Eye January 2011 and I have Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia – Why should I get my eyes checked? July 2020.

WM & the Eye
October 13 @ 12:30 PM ET

Andrew Branagan, MD

Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

Dr. Branagan attended medical school at the Medical School for International Health, Ben-Gurion University in Collaboration with Columbia University Medical Center. He was trained in Internal Medicine and Hematology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Dartmouth Medical Center, Lebanon, NH. He further completed fellowship training at Yale New Haven Medical Center in Hematology and Medical Oncology as well as a PhD in Investigative Medicine from Yale University. He has deep-rooted experience with Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (WM) since serving as the inaugural WM Program Manager at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Branagan was most recently recruited to MGH in Boston to focus his clinical and translational research efforts into multiple myeloma and WM. His research interests include global health and the development of immune-based therapies.

Infection Prevention Strategies For WM Patients
October 13 @ 2:00 PM ET

Ask the Doctors: Live Panel with Q&A
October 29 @ 2:40 PM ET

ED FORUM, DAY 1 – OCTOBER 28, 2021

Stephen Ansell, MD

Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota

Stephen M. Ansell, MD, PhD, is a consultant in the Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Dr. Ansell currently serves as chair of the Mayo Clinic Lymphoma Disease-Oriented Group and chair of faculty development and recruitment for the Division of Hematology. He joined the staff of Mayo Clinic in 1999 and holds the academic rank of professor of medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

Dr. Ansell earned his MB, ChB, and PhD degrees at University of Pretoria in Pretoria, South Africa, where he also completed an internship in internal medicine and surgery, a residency in internal medicine, and a fellowship in medical oncology. Dr. Ansell continued his education at University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg where he was a registrar in internal medicine. He then came to the United States and completed a residency in internal medicine and then a fellowship in hematology/oncology at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Ansell’s research focuses on investigating the phenotype and activity of intratumoral T-cells and developing strategies to modulate the T-cell infiltration in B-cell lymphoma.

Current Treatment Options
October 28 @ 11:20 AM ET

Ask the Doctors: Live Panel with Q&A
October 29 @ 2:40 PM ET

Jorge J. Castillo, MD

Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School
Clinical Director of the Bing Center for Waldenström Macroglobulinemia at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Jorge J. Castillo, MD, is Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Clinical Director of the Bing Center for Waldenström Macroglobulinemia at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Dr. Castillo was born in Peru and received his medical degree at the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana in Mexico City. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Massachusetts and his fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at Brown University.

Dr. Castillo specializes in the treatment of Waldenström macroglobulinemia. His research focuses on the various risk factors associated with an increased risk of developing hematologic malignancies. He currently is the principal investigator in a series of innovative clinical trials evaluating highly effective non-chemotherapeutic approaches for patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia. Dr. Castillo has authored more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and has published his research in The New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology and Blood.

Novel Treatments on the Horizon and the Importance of Clinical Trials for Drug Development
October 28 @ 1:00 PM ET

Ask the Doctors: Live Panel with Q&A
October 29 @ 2:40 PM ET

Shirley D’Sa, MD

Haematologist and Associate Professor at University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London

Dr D’Sa is a Haematologist and Associate Professor at University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London, a busy academic centre in Central London, UK, where she also completed her specialist training in haematology. She specialises in the management of patients with IgM-related conditions and paraproteinaemic neuropathies.

She is clinical lead for the UCLH Centre for Waldenström macroglobulinaemia (WM) and Related Disorders, and haematological lead in the Joint Neurohaematology Service alongside the neurology lead, Prof Michael Lunn at the National Hospital for Neurology, Queen Square in London UK.

Dr D’Sa is a co-trustee with patients and colleagues in the UK Registered Charity, WMUK (www.wmuk.org.uk) and the Chief Investigator for the Rory Morrison Registry project for WM and associated conditions which has more than 1100 patients registered from several centres across the UK and a member of the Medical Advisory Panel of Lymphoma Action in the UK.

Dr D’Sa is a CI/PI in several clinical trials in WM and cold agglutinin disease (CAD) and is a committee member on the International Workshops on WM and British Society for Haematology Guidelines Group.

She is a supervisor to successive research fellows in the field of Waldenström and paraproteinaemic neuropathies as well as haematology specialist trainees and undergraduates at UCL Medical School.

Her hobbies include keeping active through cycling, swimming, and walking whilst listening to Audible books about world history.

WM & Peripheral Neuropathy
October 28 @ 2:35 PM ET

Larisa Patacchiola, LICSW

Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA

Larisa Patacchiola, MSW, LICSW is a licensed clinical social worker within the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. As a senior clinician with over 22 years of oncology social work experience, Larisa provides outpatient supportive counseling and psychosocial cancer care to patients and their families at diagnosis and all throughout their treatment course. Larisa began her career conducting biobehavioral research in oncology within the department of Psychology at The Ohio State University and later transitioned into the field of oncology social work.

Larisa has a special interest in using cognitive behavioral interventions with patients and families to facilitate their adjustment to the various aspects of an oncology diagnosis and its related treatment. In addition to seeing patients and families individually, she is a facilitator of various support and education groups at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, serves as a clinical supervisor for MSW students and LCSW clinicians, participates in psychosocial education committees inside and outside of Dana-Farber and has presented on a variety of topics within psychosocial oncology.

Larisa was the keynote speaker and facilitator of the 2019 IWMF Support Group Leaders Workshop at the IWMF Educational Forum in Philadelphia.

WM & Fatigue
October 28 @ 3:15 PM ET

Kate Mimken, RN, BSN, MSN, FNP-C

Colorado Blood Cancer Institute

Kate Mimken, RN, BSN, MSN, FNP-C is a nurse practitioner at Colorado Blood Cancer Institute with 4 years of experience as a nurse practitioner and 19 years total in Oncology. Kate received her Masters degree from University of Colorado, Colorado Springs in 2017.

In her spare time she enjoys time with her family (kids are 14 and 16 years old), husband, and two dogs being outdoors and traveling when she can.

WM & Dermatology
October 28 @ 3:55 PM ET

ED FORUM, DAY 2 – OCTOBER 29, 2021

Mary Lou McMaster, MD

National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland

Dr. Mary McMaster received her medical degree from the Wake Forest University Bowman Gray School of Medicine. During her oncology training, she became interested in cancer genetics. She pursued specialized training in cancer genetics, first at the University of North Carolina, and later at the National Institutes of Health. She completed training in Clinical Medical Genetics with the National Human Genome Research Institute before moving to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), where she also serves as a CAPTAIN in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

At NCI, Dr. McMaster’s research has focused on the genetic epidemiology of WM, with the ultimate goal of identifying genetic and/or environmental factors that may cause a person to be susceptible to WM or related blood and lymph node cancers. She is a founding member of The International Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia Workshop and began the first national registry for familial WM, which now numbers about 100 families. Dr. McMaster’s group has published pivotal work demonstrating familial risk for WM and other B-cell tumors, the role of IgM monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) as a precursor and risk marker for WM, and the importance of common genetic variation in both familial and nonfamilial WM risk. In her studies of WM families, she provides clinical consultation and genetic counseling for WM patients, their relatives, and caregivers. She also collaborates with investigators in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on a natural history study of WM enrolling newly diagnosed and early-stage WM patients. She has worked closely with the IWMF since 2000 and is grateful for the enthusiastic support that the IWMF and its members have provided for her research.

Familial WM
October 29 @ 11:15 AM ET

Ask the Doctors: Live Panel with Q&A

October 29 @ 2:15 PM ET


Steven P. Treon, MD, PHD,FRCP, FACP

Director of the Bing Center for Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia (WM), Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI)
Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School
Chair of the WM Clinical Trials Group

Steve Treon earned a B.A. (Biology), M.S. (Biochemistry), Ph.D. (Cancer Immunology), and M.D. with honors from Boston University, and a M.A. (Medical Sciences) degree from Harvard Medical School. He completed Internal Medicine residency at Boston University Medical Center, Hematology/Medical Oncology Fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and post-doctoral training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His laboratory first identified highly recurring activating mutations in MYD88 and CXCR4 using whole genome sequencing. Professor Treon’s laboratory also identified that Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) was a downstream target of mutated MYD88, and enabled a clinical trial with the BTK inhibitor ibrutinib that resulted in the first-ever approval of a drug by the U.S. FDA and the European Medicines Agency for WM. Professor Treon also made major contributions to the investigation and advancement of many novel agents used to treat WM including monoclonal antibodies, nucleoside analogues, bendamustine, proteasome inhibitors, and BTK inhibitors.

Professor Treon has delivered numerous scientific and clinical lectures worldwide, and his scientific work has earned “Best of ASH” designations. He has published extensively on topics in WM and myeloma with over 250 peer-reviewed original reports, authoritative reviews, editorials, and chapters included in high-impact journals and textbooks. He has been the principal organizer of the International Workshops on WM since 2002. Professor Treon is an active member of the International Myeloma Society (IMS). He served on the scientific and organizing committees for the 8th and 11th International Myeloma Workshops (IMW) and was the Chair of the 17th IMW. His scientific and clinical research contributions in WM have been acknowledged by many awards including the Robert A. Kyle Award, the Jan Gosta Waldenstrom Lifetime Achievement Award, the Laurie Strauss Leukemia Foundation Outstanding Cancer Investigator Award, designation as “America’s Top Doctor” by U.S. News and World Report, the prestigious “One Hundred Award” from the Massachusetts General Hospital for Outstanding Cancer Research, the Bruce Waterfall Memorial Award from Weill Cornell Medical School, the Medical Oncology Discoverer Award for seminal work in Medical Oncology by the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. In 2017, Professor Treon was elected a fellow to the Royal College of Physicians in London, and in 2018 as a fellow of the American College of Physicians. In 2019, Professor Treon received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Boston University Medical School in recognition of his work in WM.

A Review of NCCN Guidelines for WM
October 29 @ 12:45 PM. ET

Ask the Doctors: Live Panel with Q&A, Moderator
October 29 @ 2:15 PM. ET

Dr. Buske

Christian Buske, Prof. Dr. med.

Medical Director, Institute of Experimental Cancer Research, University Hospital Ulm

Senior Consultant, Department of Internal Medicine Ill, University Hosoital Ulm

Prof. Buske is currently Medical Director at the University Ulm, Germany and Senior Consultant of the Medical Department for Internal Medicine III, Hematology/Oncology, University Hospital Ulm.

He is primarily interested in indolent B-NHL, in particular follicular lymphoma and Waldenstrom´s disease. He and his colleagues are coordinating the “European Consortium for Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia” (ECWM).

Prof. Buske is principal investigator of several national and international trials in follicular lymphoma and Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia. In addition, he is heading a large translational research group focusing on the biology of hematological neoplasms. Prof. Buske has published over 200 peer – reviewed papers and acts as reviewer for journals such as NEJM, Science, Cancer Cell, Cell Stem Cell, JCO and Blood.

Since 2013, Prof. Buske has been Subject Editor of ESMO Guidelines Committee; he is also member of the ESMO Haematologic Malignancy Faculty Group.

Ask the Doctors: Live Panel with Q&A, Panelist

October 29 @ 2:15 PM. ET

Gwen Nichols, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Dr. Nichols is the Chief Medical Officer of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In this capacity she oversees the LLS Mission; Research, Patient Access, Education, Services, Policy. Current focus includes increasing clinical trial access and participation for cancer patients, and the LLS Children’s Initiative, a collaboration to change the development paradigm for children’s cancers. Prior to her position at LLS, Dr. Nichols directed the oncology translational medicine group at Roche in New York. Prior to Roche Dr. Nichols was a clinician researcher at Columbia University, caring for hematologic malignancies patients and directing the hematologic malignancies program.

Advancements Through IWMF-Funded Research
October 29 @ 3:45 PM ET