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New Canaanite #19 on 'World's 50 Greatest Leaders' List

What Kathy Giusti of New Canaan has in common with Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama and even Derek Jeeter.

Kathy Giusti was presented with Research!America's 2014 Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award by William N. Hait, M.D., PH.D., Global Head of Research and Development at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and a Research!America Board member.
Kathy Giusti was presented with Research!America's 2014 Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award by William N. Hait, M.D., PH.D., Global Head of Research and Development at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and a Research!America Board member.
Update: Giusti's response to being named to the Fortune list was sent to New Canaan Patch and added to this article at 10:04 a.m. Friday (see eighth paragraph).

Fortune Magazine just put Kathy Giusti of New Canaan, founder of the Multiple Myeloma Foundation, in the No. 19 spot in its list of "The World's 50 Greatest Leaders."

It was one of two honors she recently received for her leadership activities.

"In an era that feels starved for leadership, we've found men and women who will inspire you -- some famous, others little known, all of them energizing their followers and making the world better," Fortune says in introducing its list.

Myeloma is a "rare form of cancer [...] found in the bone marrow," according to WebMD. The Norwalk-based foundation describes itself as an organization that "pursues innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure."

Giusti ranks a bit further down the list than Pope Francis (No. 1), Bill Clinton (5), the Dalai Lama (9), and even Derek Jeeter (11), but she comes in ahead of Angelina Jolie (21), Gabrielle Giffords (24) and Wynton Marsalis (39).

"Within weeks of her diagnosis in 1996, Giusti began disrupting the myeloma research culture -- getting isolated doctors and scientists to share data, and building an unheard-of consortium to develop drugs," Fortune reports. "Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria calls her 'an entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word -- someone who sees beyond existing constraints to imagine novel solutions to once intractable problems.'"

Doctors initially told Giusti she only had three years to live.

"I am incredibly humbled to be included on Fortune Magazine’s newest list, but recognition like this only comes when partners, donors and families work together to drive collaborative research forward in an effort to accelerate cures, Giusti said in a statement emailed to New Canaan Patch by a foundation spokeswoman. "I am sincerely grateful for this honor and am profoundly appreciative to all who work with us on behalf of myeloma patients and share in this acknowledgement."

Giusti also recently received Research!America's 2014 Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award for her work in advancing the research and treatment of multiple myeloma.

“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, in a news release.

“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," Woolley said.

"I am deeply honored to accept [the award] on behalf of the entire MMRF team," Giusti said in a news release about the Research!America award.





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