Kathy Giusti is a world leader in medical research. Her pioneering efforts have sped the development of several treatment breakthroughs and quickened the pace of scientific inquiry. As Big Data ushers in a new era of personalized medicine and its promise of cures, Kathy has been a vanguard for open-access data sharing and a powerful champion for patient engagement throughout the disease journey.
Kathy founded the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation in 1998, shortly after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare and fatal cancer. At the time, there were few effective treatments and no new drugs on the horizon. Faced with her own mortality, Kathy was determined to do whatever she could to beat the odds.
She believed that the business acumen she had developed at Harvard Business School and honed as an executive at a major pharmaceutical company could be used to build a new kind of cancer research foundation—one that was optimized to run like the Fortune 500 companies where she had risen through the ranks. By taking a business approach to science, the MMRF has razed seemingly impassible barriers that have impeded progress in other research efforts and, in their place, build collaborative research models that have accelerated spectacular treatment advances and dramatically extended patients’ survival.
In recognition of Kathy's dramatic impact on cancer research and her deep commitment to the sharing of knowledge and building innovative, open access, data-driven models, Kathy serves as Faculty Co-Chair of the Harvard Business School Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator a $20M program endowed by Robert Kraft and the Kraft Family Foundation to speed precision medicine.
Kathy’s visionary approach to cancer research—a paradigm embraced by many research groups seeking to catalyze progress in other cancers and rare diseases—has earned her many accolades. Most recently, she was named 1 of 3 Top Business Disruptor's in Healthcare by Fortune and was ranked #19 on Fortune Magazine’s Worlds’ 50 Greatest Leaders. In 2013, Kathy was named an Open Science Champion of Change by the White House. In 2011, she was named to the TIME 100 List of the world’s most influential people.
Kathy has served as a keynote or featured participant at many scientific conferences and events around the world, including President Obama's Precision Medicine and Vice President Biden's Cancer Moonshot programs, and has been a panelist at numerous medical meetings. She has also been featured on many networks, including the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, and CNN, as well as in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Yorker, among others.
Kathy serves on the Harvard Business School Health Advisory Board and previously served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology National Cancer Advisory Board, the National Cancer Policy Board, and the IMS Health Board.
She received an MBA in general management from Harvard Business School and graduated from the University of Vermont magna cum laude. She has an honorary Doctorate from the University of Vermont.
She lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, with her husband and two children.