The CMRG Board of Directors is comprised of a dedicated pan-Canadian group of clinicians, scientists, and patients working together to progress myeloma research that prioritizes patient needs. The BOD share a common vision: to work together towards a world where myeloma is no longer a fatal disease. Board members bring a range of expertise and knowledge to the task, and work in close collaboration with the myeloma community at large to achieve their goals
Darrell White, MD
Dr White is a hematologist at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, a professor of medicine and the senior associate dean in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax. He has a long-standing interest in medical education, having served various leadership roles in medical education at Dalhousie and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. His clinical practice and research activity focus on the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma.
Donna Reece, MD
Chief Medical Officer and Director
Dr Reece is the Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and Director of the Program for Multiple Myeloma and Related Diseases in the Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology at Princess Margaret Hospital/University of Toronto. She was awarded the Molly and David Bloom Chair in Multiple Myeloma Research in 2009. She has served as Chair of the Multiple Myeloma Subcommittee of the Canadian Clinical Trials Group, Co-Chair of the Myeloma Subcommittee of the Centre for Blood and Marrow Transplant Research as well as a Member of the International Myeloma Working Group and Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium. She was a Director on the International Myeloma Society from 2016-2019 and currently holds a Board membership position in Myeloma Canada. She has served as the Chief Medical Officer of the CMRG since its inception
Lorelei has been very involved in the Canadian myeloma community since her diagnosis in 2009. Lorelei has held various roles on the Edmonton and area, including a role with the Myeloma Alberta Support Society, where she is currently serving as President. She was a very active member of the Myeloma Canada Patient Advisory Council (PAC) for over 6 years, including time as the Chair. During her time on the PAC, Lorelei presented on the importance of patient perspectives and engagement in research at several Scientific Roundtables. Lorelei is also a Board member of Myeloma Canada and has participated in the planning and conducting of various very successful Myeloma Canada events and initiatives, including the numerous Support Group Leaders and Advocacy Summits, the Awareness Day at the Alberta Legislature, and the Early Diagnosis Program. An important part of her role with the CMRG is to ensure we honor incorporating the lived experience in our research and programs.
Sofia Tavoularis, PhD
Dr Tavoularis was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in January 2014. That same year, she retired from the Canadian Blood Services, where she held the position of Director of the HLA Laboratory. In that position, she was responsible for the provision of large-scale HLA genotyping services for donors across the country (except Quebec), who joined the Canadian OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network.
Dr Tavoularis has expertise in the areas of histocompatibility and immunogenetics, molecular biology and immunohematology, as well as extensive experience in HLA genotyping. Her work in sequence-based HLA typing led to the identification of 37 new alleles, which were reported to the HLA WHO Nomenclature Committee and published in peer reviewed journals.
Dr Tavoularis is a Director of the Canadian Myeloma Research Group (CMRG) Board of Directors as a patient representative. She is also a member of the CMRG Project Review Committee and Database Steering Committee and a member of Myeloma Canada, Ontario Advocacy Committee. She is an emeritus member of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).
Dr Tavoularis received her PhD in immunogenetics from Johns Hopkins University, followed by a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Department of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. She also held the position of Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, from 1992 to 2013. Besides HLA, her research interests included KIR genotyping, stem cell colony formation, endothelial cell biology, platelet allo-antibody detection and platelet genotyping, as well as the detection of cytokines and coagulation factors. She has published 121 full papers and abstracts.
Christopher Venner, MD
Dr Venner completed his medical training at the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta. He later attended the University of British Columbia to complete a sub-specialty degree in Hematology. He then went on to pursue a Plasma Cell Dyscrasias Fellowship jointly through the Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of British Columbia, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and the London School of Medicine and the National Amyloidosis Centre. After spending a year completing his fellowship training in the UK, he joined the National Amyloid Centre as a staff physician before returning to Edmonton and the Cross Cancer Institute to lead the Malignant Hematology Program and the Myeloma/Plasma Cell Dyscrasias group. He is currently a staff physician at the BC Cancer Vancouver Centre focusing on Plasma Cell Dyscrasias and Lymphoid Malignancies. In addition to being actively involved in hematology clinical trials, his current academic interest involves clinical research in plasma cell dyscrasias, examining the evolution of therapy in these diseases and the impact novel combinations have on survival. Much of this work is done through the Canadian Myeloma Research Group through activities in the CMRG Canadian Multiple Myeloma Database initiative, where he is currently active as Chair, and the CMRG clinical trials group. He is also the Co-Chair of the Myeloma Sub-Committee with the Canadian Cancer Trials Group.