Scientific Advisory Board

The Judy and Bernard Briskin Center for Multiple Myeloma Research maintains a distinguished Scientific Advisory Board comprising world-renowned authorities within City of Hope and beyond our borders. 

The board meets regularly to review our progress, examine significant advances in the larger multiple myeloma community, and recommend moving our work forward. 

Board Members
Amrita Krishnan, M.D.
Amrita Krishnan, M.D.
Director, Judy and Bernard Briskin Center for Multiple Myeloma, City of Hope 
"What I tell my patients is don't be afraid of clinical trials, don't be afraid of research because that is how we make things better, and we are getting closer and closer to finding a cure for multiple myeloma." Amrita Krishnan, M.D., is a nationally recognized authority in the rapidly evolving field of multiple myeloma. She has been instrumental in bringing City of Hope to a leadership role in treating this disease. In participation with the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium, Dr. Krishnan heads our effort to seek out and perfect novel new drug combinations.   A much sought-after voice with unique expertise, Dr. Krishnan's research interests focus on developing novel therapies and imaging modalities for multiple myeloma. A key City of Hope team member since 1997, Dr. Krishnan trained at Albany Medical College and served as a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School. Full bio
Stephen Forman
Stephen J. Forman, M.D.
Director, Hematologic Malignancies Research Institute
“It remains a privilege, after nearly 40 years of doing this, to be allowed to take care of somebody who has these diseases.” Stephen J. Forman, M.D., is an international expert in leukemia, lymphoma and bone marrow transplantation. He is co-editor of "Thomas’ Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation," a definitive textbook for clinicians, scientists and health care professionals. Dr. Forman exudes the special blend of zealous determination and compassion typical of City of Hope team members, illustrated by his own words: “We come to work every day thinking ‘cure ...’ Once we've extended our hand and grabbed yours, we don't let it go.” In nearly 40 years at City of Hope, Dr. Forman has been instrumental in dramatically advancing survival rates for blood disorders. In addition, he is deeply involved with the translational and clinical research at City of Hope's Toni Stephenson Lymphoma Center, Judy and Bernard Briskin Center for Multiple Myeloma Research, and Gehr Family Center for Leukemia Research. His current projects are focused on immunotherapy — using the body's own immune system to attack cancer. Much of his current work centers on T cells and their cancer-fighting potential. Full bio
City of Hope EVP and director emeritus, Comprehensive Cancer Center and Beckman Research Institute Steven T. Rosen, M.D.
Steven T. Rosen, M.D.
Provost and Chief Scientific Officer | Irell & Manella Cancer Center Director's Distinguished Chair
"With modern approaches in genetics and cancer biology, the opportunities to make important discoveries that'll have a significant impact on human suffering and terrible diseases is, I think, going to happen at a very rapid pace. City of Hope will be at the forefront." A world-renowned leader in cancer research, known equally for his expertise and humanity, Steven T. Rosen, M.D., sets the scientific direction of City of Hope, shaping its research and educational vision. He is passionate about rapidly turning breakthrough discoveries into practical benefits for cancer patients worldwide. Dr. Rosen directs Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, where he leads our vital basic and translational research efforts, and our National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, which stands at the intersection between leading-edge science and outstanding clinical care. He reaches out to recruit the finest scientists and clinicians and helps them achieve national and international recognition. He is also the public face of City of Hope's research enterprise, promoting our national standing as a premier scientific organization. Dr. Rosen joined City of Hope after nearly three decades of leadership at Northwestern University. Recognized as one of the "Best Doctors in America," Dr. Rosen received the Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award from Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Israel Cancer Research Fund. Full bio
Jonathan Keats
Jonathan Keats, Ph.D.
Scientific Director, Judy and Bernard Briskin Center for Multiple Myeloma Research, City of Hope | Assistant Professor, Integrated Cancer Genomics Division | Director, Bioinformatics, at TGen
"It is so important to get a better understanding of what genetically is driving these individual tumors [in multiple myeloma], and it's really taking us to a more personalized model of precision medicine for each individual patient because they [the patients] are quite different." Jonathan Keats, Ph.D.'s extensive experience and work focus primarily on multiple myeloma using the most advanced genomic technologies to interrogate cancer genetics. Dr. Keats' lab focuses on using novel methods to examine multiple myeloma genomic features to identify genetic events that facilitate the development, progression, or mediate therapeutic resistance to this disease. As a result of his work, Dr. Keats oversees and executes large collaborative academic projects and contractual work for pharmaceutical companies, including one of the world's most extensive cancer genomics studies with the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Full bio
Joycelynne Palmer PhD
Joycelynne Palmer, Ph.D.
Director and Professor, Division of Biostatistics at City of Hope
"What inspires me is to work and live in service to others … and because service is central to City of Hope's mission, my purpose and work are aligned." Dr. Palmer is a highly accomplished biostatistician with a background in the biological sciences, including epidemiology. Dr. Palmer provides scientific oversight and statistical support, including design, monitoring, analysis, and reporting for the Hematologic Malignancies Research Institute, including the Judy and Bernard Briskin Center for Multiple Myeloma Research. Extensive collaboration in biomedical research encompasses basic science, translational, clinical and epidemiological projects. Full bio
Joseph Mikhael, Professor
Joseph Mikhael, Ph.D.
Professor, Applied Cancer Research and Drug Discovery Division, Translational Genomics Research Institute
Joseph Mikhael, Ph.D. is a professor in the Applied Cancer Research and Drug Discovery Division at TGen and Chief Medical Officer of the International Myeloma Foundation. Full bio

Rafael Fonseca, M.D.
Getz Family Professor of Cancer, Department of Medicine Chair and Distinguished Investigator, Mayo Clinic

Rafael Fonseca, M.D., is one of the nation's foremost multiple myeloma researchers and a world authority on the genomics of myeloma. A board-certified hematologist and oncologist, in 2004, he founded the multiple myeloma research facility at the Mayo Clinic's Arizona facility after five years of similar research at the Mayo campus in Rochester, Minnesota.

Dr. Fonseca's lab focuses on the genetics of myeloma, especially identifying specific abnormalities which translate into a high-risk form of the disease.


Sagar Lonial, M.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Hematology & Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
Chief Medical Officer, Emory's Winship Cancer Institute

Sagar Lonial, M.D., is a leading international researcher and an internationally recognized authority in multiple myeloma treatment and research. He serves as vice chair of the Myeloma Committee in the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and as chair of the Steering Committee for the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium.

Dr. Lonial is currently exploring combinations of novel agents for myeloma and lymphoma, particularly those that may inhibit the PI3-K or Akt pathway, which is believed to regulate cell proliferation and may contribute to developing resistance to therapy.


Paola Neri, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine and Attending Physician, Hematology division, University of Calgary
Member of the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute

Dr. Neri has widely published in the field of multiple myeloma. She has received national and international grants from several agencies, including the International Myeloma Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, and the Canadian Institute of Health Research. The main focus of her research is the study of multiple myeloma, with a particular interest in drug development and genomic studies with the goal of discovering novel therapeutic targets for this incurable disease.


Robert A. Vescio, M.D.
Medical Director, Multiple Myeloma and Amyloidosis Program, Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Robert Vescio, M.D., directs the Cedars-Sinai Multiple Myeloma and Amyloidosis Program.

His research interests include monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, a related condition that sometimes develops into multiple myeloma. In addition, his laboratory work has improved our understanding of multiple myeloma pathogenesis, including a potential link with human herpes virus-8 infection.

"America's Top Doctors for Cancer" cites Dr. Vescio as one of the top specialists in multiple myeloma and amyloidosis.