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Chasing my Cure: A Doctor’s Race


Attendees will hear from national bestselling author of Chasing My Cure: A Doctor’s Race to Turn Hope into Action, David Fajgenbaum, MD, MSc, FCCP, about his experience living with and successfully fighting Castleman disease. Fajgenbaum was a healthy and athletic third-year medical student when he was suddenly stricken with his rare disease that almost took his life five times. Today, he is Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Associate Director of the Orphan Disease Center, and is leading research through the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN) where he works tirelessly to improve the lives of patients with Castleman disease and other rare diseases. Register for this event to hear his inspiring story and learn more about rare diseases.


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Speaker's Bio

David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc, FCPP, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in Translational Medicine & Human Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania, Founding Director of the Center for Cytokine Storm Treatment & Laboratory (CSTL), Associate Director, Patient Impact of the Penn Orphan Disease Center, and Co-Founder/President of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN). He is also the national bestselling author of Chasing My Cure: A Doctor's Race to Turn Hope Into Action and a patient battling idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease (iMCD). He is in his longest remission ever thanks to a precision treatment that he identified, which had never been used before for iMCD.

An authority on cytokine storms and their treatment, Fajgenbaum launched the CORONA project in March 2020 to identify and track treatments for COVID-19. Today, CORONA is the world’s largest database of COVID-19 treatments, including 400+ medications that have been administered to 300,000+ patients, and a go-to resource for FDA, Google Health, and others. He serves on the treatment selection committee for the NIH’s ACTIV-6 trial as well as the Chair of the treatment selection committee for FDA/NIH/C-Path Institute’s CURE Drug Repurposing Collaboratory (CDRC) COVID-19 inpatient trial.

One of the youngest individuals ever appointed to the faculty at Penn Medicine and in the top 1 percent youngest awardees of an NIH R01 grant, Fajgenbaum leads more than 20 translational research studies, including the CORONA project and a clinical trial of the drug that is saving his life. He has published scientific papers in high-impact journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Blood, and Journal of Clinical Investigation, including one paper selected by STAT News in 2020 as one of the best innovations in science and medicine.

Fajgenbaum co-founded the CDCN in 2012 to accelerate research and treatments for Castleman disease through a 'Collaborative Network Approach,' a business-inspired approach to biomedical research, which has become a blueprint for advancing rare disease research. He is also dedicated to advancing drug repurposing as co-director of the advisory committee for a FDA/NIH/C-Path public-private partnership called the CURE Drug Repurposing Collaboratory and lead investigator for a collaboration with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to advance rare disease drug repurposing. Dr. Fajgenbaum has been profiled in a cover story by The New York Times as well as by Good Morning America, CNN, Science, Reader's Digest, Forbes 30 Under 30, and the Today Show.

Fajgenbaum received a B.S. in Human Sciences with Distinction from Georgetown University, where he was USA Today Academic All-USA First Team and a Quarterback on the Division I football team. He studied for an MSc in Public Health from the University of Oxford as the 2007 Joseph L. Allbritton Scholar. Dr. Fajgenbaum earned his M.D. from the Raymond & Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a 21st Century Gamble Scholar. He received his MBA from The Wharton School, where he was awarded the Joseph Wharton Award, Core Value Leadership Award, Kissick Scholarship, Wharton Business Plan Competition Social Impact Prize, Eilers Health Care Management Award, Mandel Fellowship, and Commencement Speaker.