Leading expert, Andrzej Jakubowiak, to direct myeloma program at University of Chicago Medical Center

Leading expert, Andrzej Jakubowiak, to direct myeloma program at University of Chicago Medical Center

December 1, 2011

Andrzej Jakubowiak, MD, PhD, an internationally known authority on multiple myeloma, has been appointed professor of medicine and director of the myeloma program at the University of Chicago Medical Center. He came to the Medical Center in October from the University of Michigan.

A specialist in the treatment of cancers of the blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes, such as leukemia and lymphoma, Jakubowiak is best known for his work on the development and testing of new drugs for the treatment of multiple myeloma, a rare cancer that affects the white blood cells that make antibodies.

He works closely with the National Cancer Institute, the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) and pharmaceutical partners to bring innovative, investigational treatments to patients as quickly as possible. He is currently the lead investigator on several clinical trials for patients who are newly diagnosed, have relapsed, or have disease that is resistant to treatment.

Under his leadership, the University of Michigan was honored by the MMRC in 2008 and 2010 as the Myeloma Center of the Year in North America for myeloma research and drug development.

The author of more than 45 peer-reviewed articles and 14 book chapters, Jakubowiak lectures at medical meetings around the world, serves as a reviewer for several scientific journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Blood and Leukemia and Lymphoma, and has received many awards for his clinical and translational research.

"It is quite an honor to come to the University of Chicago where chromosomal translocations, the molecular mechanism behind multiple myeloma, were first described," Jakubowiak said. "I look forward to working with the strong team already in place to expand our efforts to find novel ways to use our growing understanding of this disease to develop new and better therapies for patients with myeloma."

About 20,000 cases of multiple myeloma are diagnosed each year in the United States and more than 10,000 patients die from the disease. Although there is no cure, treatment can help control symptoms and delay progression of the disease.

Jakubowiak received both his MD (1977) and PhD (1983) from the Medical Academy in Poznan, Poland, where he completed his residency in medicine in 1984. He came to the United States in 1993 as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, where he did additional training in medicine and pathology, and served on the medical staff as an assistant professor and laboratory director. In 2000, he completed fellowships in medicine and medical oncology at the Weill Cornell Medical College and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, both in New York, and joined the faculty of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.