UAMS myeloma center gets new director, $20 million in donations

LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences announced Tuesday the hiring of a new director for its Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy and the receipt of $20 million in contributions for the institute.

Dr. Gareth Morgan, currently a clinician and researcher with Myeloma UK Research Centre at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, will take over the position at UAMS in July. He will replace Dr. Bart Barlogie, the institute’s founder, who is stepping down as director but will continue to work at the institute in clinical care and research.

UAMS also said Gov. Mike Beebe has provided $5 million from the state’s budget surplus for the institute and that private sources have provided a three-to-one match for a total of $20 million.

Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund, at the recommendation of Carol A. Ammon, chairwoman of the Myeloma Institute Advisory Board, and her spouse Dr. Marie Pinizzotto, made the first matching gift of $5 million, UAMS said.

The $20 million will help pay for the construction of new laboratories and the institute’s research program.

Founded in 1989, the myeloma program at UAMS has seen more than 11,000 patients from every state and more than 50 foreign countries and has performed more than 9,000 peripheral blood stem cell transplants.