The RFP was developed jointly by the IWMF and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and sent in mid-November to over 200 researchers. It is the direct result of a conference held in May 2015 in New York City that identified four research priority areas focused on advancing our understanding of WM. Dr. Lee Greenberger, Chief Scientific Officer of LLS, moderated the conference, and the Scientific Co-Chairs were Dr. Steven Treon of Dana-Farber Cancer Center and Dr. Stephen Ansell of Mayo Clinic. Additional information about the attendees and the identified research priorities can be found in the July 2015 and October 2015 issues of the Torch newsletter. A follow-up conference is scheduled for May 20-21, 2016, in New York City.
Applications in response to the RFP for first year of the Initiative are expected by the deadline of February 19, 2016, with scientific review of applications to be completed in the spring. The anticipated funding start date for approved proposals will be July-October 2016. To financially support the Initiative, the IWMF needs to double yearly donations to its Research Fund. The IWMF Fundraising Committee is currently working to develop specific fundraising plans for the Initiative, and IWMF members are encouraged to send input and suggestions to Michael Sesnowitz, IWMF Vice President for Fundraising, at [email protected](link sends e-mail).
The IWMF has taken steps to strengthen its scientific capabilities. These include adding Dr. Stephen Ansell of Mayo Clinic to its Board of Trustees and two new members to its Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), chaired by Dr. Robert Kyle of Mayo Clinic. The new SAC members are Dr. Surinder Sahota from the University of Southampton in the UK and Dr. Brian Van Ness from the University of Minnesota in the US. New members have also been added to the IWMF Research Committee.