Barbara Van Husen on Past, Present and Future MPN Research

Barbara Van Husen

Barbara Van Husen, president, MPN Research Foundation, discusses research into myeloproliferative neoplasms.

The MPN Research Foundation (MPNRF) was named one of our 2015 MPN Heroes in the category of Commitment to the Broader MPN Community. As one of the premiere organizations that reaches the entire MPN community of patients, family members, doctors, and researchers, MPNRF has a single goal: to stimulate original research in pursuit of new treatments—and eventually a cure—for MPNs. Guiding MPNRF are Chairman of the Board of Directors, Robert Rosen; Van Husen; and Executive Director Michelle Woehrle. It is through their team approach that MPNRF was nominated as an MPN Hero.

Bob formed MPNRF in 1999 after being diagnosed with polycythemia vera. Van Husen joined him to organize the solicitation and awarding of grant proposals for MPN research. Together, they directed a significant investment into promising research options, with the aim to benefit patients as soon as possible.

Along with Michelle, MPNRF recently created a framework to fund new investigators and has given away more than $10 million for more than 50 international research projects. Evidence of the organization’s impact on the broader MPN community can be seen with the recent MPN Challenge grants. These grants have resulted in the discovery of the CALR mutation and in the creation of the MPNRF website (, which has registered nearly 19,000 patients and supporters and provides information on MPNs and clinical trials to nearly 200,000 visitors annually.
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