Research Strategy

MSF grants support collaborative research with a focus on understanding the genetic, epigenetic, metabolomic, and proteomic features of the malignant clones in high-risk multiple myeloma (MM) subtypes, particularly t(4;14). This includes longitudinal analysis throughout therapy to understand drivers of treatment resistance. Parallel approaches analyzing the dynamic changes in the surrounding tumor microenvironment (TME) at different stages of treatment is also needed to understand the effect of these changes and their ​impact on the​ use of specific therapeutic strategies for high-risk disease. Together, the interrogation of the MM cells and the TME within the t(4;14) subtype is required to identify new targets that could be considered for drug development and clinical testing. Furthermore, analogous approaches could also be used to address how precursor MM cells and the TME of t(4;14) patients change from MGUS/SMM to active myeloma which could inform optimal timing and therapy for initiating treatment. High-quality patient-level data from multiple, collaborative research teams and other partners, combined with non-clinical human and mouse modeling is needed to translate biological discoveries to clinical application with specific attention to the t(4;14) subtype. Data resulting from a t(4;14)-focused approach could potentially identify overlapping biology with other MM risk groups and may also serve as a model that could be tailored to address other MM subtypes and other cancers with analogous biological features.

Application Requirements & Process

MSF does not ​consider unsolicited proposals. ​Grants are awarded periodically to fill strategic research gaps and in response to emerging data in consultation with scientific advisors and MSF grantees. MSF grants are typically 3-year duration with an emphasis on cross-institutional collaboration. Institutional indirect costs of grants ​may ​not exceed 10% of the total amount awarded. Contracting of grants is through​ ​​Impact Assets​​, ​ ​the administrator of the MSF ​donor advised fund (DAF). ​ ​

MSF Grantees are part of a collaborative network of investigators who further drive the MSF research strategy by:

  • Serving as advisors for each other in open data discussions​ ​
  • Identifying key data gaps and advising on new project proposals​ ​
  • Responding rapidly to emerging data to nominate new research projects​ ​