Patient Impact Legacy Award

Dr. Richard DiMarchi

DiMarchi PhotoDr. DiMarchi's contributions in peptide & protein sciences consists of three decades of work in academia, the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology companies. He is the Cox Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Gill Chair in Biomolecular Sciences at Indiana University. He is a co-founder of Ambrx, Inc., Marcadia Biotech, Assembly and Calibrium Biotech. He has served as a scientific advisor to multiple pharmaceutical companies and three venture funds; 5AM, TMP, and Twilight. He is Chairman of the Peptide Therapeutics Foundation and external board member at Assembly Biosciences and Ontarget Therapeutics. 
Dr. DiMarchi is a retired Group Vice President at Eli Lilly & Company where for more than two decades he provided leadership in biotechnology, endocrine research and product development. He is readily recognized for discovery and development of rDNAderived Humalog® (LisPro-human insulin). As scientist and executive, Dr. DiMarchi also significantly contributed to the commercial development of Humulin®, Humatrope®, rGlucagon®, Evista®, and Forteo®. His current research is focused on developing macromolecules with enhanced therapeutic properties through biochemical and chemical optimization, an approach he has termed chemical-biotechnology.
Dr. DiMarchi is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2005 AAPS Career Research Achievement Award in Biotechnology, the 2006 ACS Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management, the 2006 ACS Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Service of Public Interest, the 2007 Carothers Award for Excellence in Polymer Sciences, the 2009 Watanabe Award for Life Sciences Research, the 2011 Merrifield Award for Career Contributions in Peptide Sciences, the 2012 Phillip Nelson Innovation Award, the 2014 Erwin Schrödinger-Preis, and a 2014 inductee to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Janet Davison Rowley Patient Impact Research Award

Dr. S. Vincent RajkumarSVR

S. Vincent Rajkumar, MD, is Edward W. and Betty Knight Scripps Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and chair of the Mayo Clinic’s Myeloma, Amyloidosis, and Dysproteinemia Group. He is also chair of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Myeloma Committee. Dr Rajkumar has a multifaceted research program involving clinical trials, epidemiologic studies, and laboratory research. He has led numerous phase I, II, and III clinical trials investigating the role of new agents in myeloma, including the pivotal trial that led to the approval of thalidomide in myeloma in the United States.

As chair of the ECOG Myeloma Committee, he leads the design and implementation of several national phase III randomized trials for the disease. Dr Rajkumar also leads several large epidemiologic studies investigating the epidemiology, prevalence, and progression of various monoclonal gammopathies including myeloma. His career was profiled in the Nov 26th 2011 issue of The Lancet.

Dr. Rajkumar’s research is primarily funded by the United Sates National Institutes of Health. His current laboratory research is focused on investigating novel agents in myeloma, and studying the role of angiogenesis in various plasma cell disorders. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed research papers, primarily in the field of myeloma and related plasma cell disorders.

Dr. Rajkumar currently serves as the section editor for multiple myeloma and related disorders for Leukemia and as an associate editor for the Mayo Clinic Proceedings and the European Journal of Haematology. He is Editor-in-Chief of Blood Cancer Journal.


Golan & Christie Patient Impact Philanthropy Award

Given to The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: accepting on behalf of RWJF, Lori Melichar, Director

Lori Melichar, a labor economist, is a director at the Foundation where she focuses on discovering, exploring and learning from cutting edge ideas with the potential to help create a Culture of Health. She is also the host of the Foundation’s Pioneering Ideas podcast.

Previously at the Foundation, Melichar managed several programs to focus a broad research community on studies to improve health and health care policy and practice, and was a key driver of efforts to advance the science of quality improvement (QI) research and evaluation.

Prior to joining the Foundation in 2002, she served with the National Institutes of Child Health and Development and the Demography of Inequality initiative at the University of Maryland Center on Population, Gender and Inequality. Melichar also worked at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals as a consultant and economic policy analyst and at the Project Hope Center for Health Affairs.

She holds a PhD and MA in economics from the University of Maryland at College Park and a BA in economics from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. An Oklahoma native, Melichar resides in New York City with her husband and three children.

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