NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- New Canaan's Kathy Giusti has received Research!America's 2014 Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award for her work with the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
Giusti, founder and CEO of the foundation, received the award "for advancing the research and treatment of multiple myeloma" at the 2014 Advocacy Awards at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
The awards ceremony drew more than 400 leaders from government, industry, academia and health advocacy organizations to recognize top medical and health research advocates who have made an impact in advancing the nation's commitment toward research.
“Giusti’s personal strength and perseverance have contributed greatly to the field of myeloma research and progress in finding new treatments to increase longevity and improve the quality of life for patients,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America. “Her passion and drive to find cures has changed the landscape of cancer research for generations to come due to her foundation’s ability to create game changing models that are emulated by other organizations—in tissue banking, genomics, clinical trials and open access to big data."
Giusti said she was "deeply honored" to accept the award on behalf of the MMRF team.
“What Research!America and the Gund Foundation do is so critically important and I know firsthand the extraordinary impact scientists, clinicians, industry, the government and patients can all have when they are working together for a common goal," she said. "Through the hard work of our amazing partners and donors, myeloma, an uncommon cancer, has seen more progress than perhaps any other cancer.”
Upon learning that she was diagnosed with myeloma and given three years to live, Giusti founded the MMRF in the hopes of pulling together the best scientists, pharmaceutical partners, biotech companies and academic centers in the world to facilitate progress in drug development.
Research!America’s Award benefactors Gordon and Llura Gund, have supported medical and health research for more than 40 years. They co-founded the Foundation Fighting Blindness, dedicated to driving the research that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for an entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases.