The research of Shaji Kumar, M.D., focuses on development of novel drugs for treatment of myeloma. Dr. Kumar's research team evaluates the in vitro activity of novel drugs that, based on their mechanisms of action, are likely to have activity in the setting of myeloma. Promising drugs are brought into the clinic through early-stage clinical trials in Phase I or II studies.
Dr. Kumar also evaluates novel combinations of different drugs to identify synergistic combinations that can result in better treatment responses and eventually better patient outcomes. His work on drug development is complemented by an active program studying the biology of myeloma, with a focus on the study of bone marrow microenvironment in multiple myeloma and how it influences the tumor cells, especially the increased bone marrow microvessels seen in myeloma. His clinical research focuses on outcomes of patients with myeloma and amyloidosis, especially high-risk disease.
- Multiple myeloma. Dr. Kumar conducts National Institutes of Health-funded research on translation of novel therapeutic targets in multiple myeloma as well as the role of cereblon pathways in myeloma. He also receives funding from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation to study the relationship between molecular profiles, treatment regimens for patients with multiple myeloma and outcomes.
- Monoclonal gammopathies. Additional research, funded by the National Cancer Institute, investigates the prevalence, onset and biomarkers for progression of monoclonal gammopathies.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Kumar's research goal is to improve the understanding of the disease biology, thereby allowing for better identification of valid therapeutic targets and, in turn, development of novel drugs.
- Named, Mark and Judy Mullins Professor of Hematologic Malignancies Endowment, 2020
- Editorial advisory board, The Lancet Haematology, 2014-present; Clinical Oncology News, 2011-present; Advances in Therapy journal, 2009-present; American Journal of Hematology, 2009-2011
- Associate editor, American Journal of Hematology, 2011-present
- Board member, European Journal of Clinical and Medical Oncology, 2011-present; Leukemia journal, 2010-present
- Member, Institutional Review Board, Mayo Clinic, 2009-present