International Myeloma Foundation Honors UAMS’ Shaughnessy

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences myeloma researcher John D. Shaughnessy, Jr., Ph.D., was honored recently by the International Myeloma Foundation as part of a team of scientists who established the first world repository for DNA collected from myeloma patients and family members.


Shaughnessy, director of the basic science division of the Myeloma Institute of Research and Therapy (MIRT) in the Arkansas Cancer Research Center and a professor in the UAMS College of Medicine, is among the group of nine scientists from around the world recognized Oct. 21 at the Foundation’s 16th Anniversary Gala at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.


Through the Bank On A Cure initiative, samples of DNA, molecules that carry genetic information, are analyzed to look for variations that may show a tendency for development of myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow. The information also may allow researchers to determine a patient’s response to a specific treatment.


“We developed the concept for the Bank in 2003 and formally began public DNA collection in 2005, and we are proud of the findings already developed by these scientists who are helping to take the guesswork out of myeloma treatment,” said Susie Novis, founder and president of the International Myeloma Foundation.


Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is the second largest of the blood cancers, affecting an estimated 750,000 people worldwide.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,430 students and 715 medical residents. It is one of the state’s largest public employers with about 9,400 employees, including nearly 1,000 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.5 billion a year. For more information, visit