Chasing My Cure: Lessons about Life, Business, and Medicine from Chasing Cures for Castleman, COVID, and Beyond

Date and Time
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
12:00pm— 1:00pm
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The WHCMAA is excited to mark a major milestone…… the 10-year anniversary of the Wharton Healthcare Quarterly. We will be “Celebrating the Past and Embracing the Future” throughout the year.

Please join us for the next event in our monthly webinar series with David Fajgenbaum, WG'15, MD'13, MSc, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Co-Founder & President of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN), who will share his groundbreaking work to advance precision medicine for Castleman disease, a condition that he is battling as a physician, researcher, advocate, and patient. He is currently in his longest remission thanks to a precision medicine that he discovered and began testing on himself. Dr. 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 and is being spread through a partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). During this talk, Dr. Fajgenbaum will share lessons he learned about life, hope, and resilience from nearly dying.



David Fajgenbaum, WG'15, MD'13, MSc
Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Co-Founder & President of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN) David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc, is a groundbreaking physician-scientist, disease hunter, speaker, and national bestselling author of Chasing My Cure: A Doctor's Race to Turn Hope Into Action. He went from being a beast-like college quarterback to receiving his last rites while in medical school and nearly dying four more times battling Castleman disease. To try to save his own life, David spearheaded an innovative approach to research through the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN) and discovered a treatment that is saving his life and others. He described his journey and lessons learned in Chasing My Cure, which has been translated into five languages, named one of the “Best Non-Fiction Books of 2019,” and profiled by Good Morning America, CNN, and BBC News, among others. Given the similarities between COVID-19 and Castleman disease, Fajgenbaum launched the CORONA project in March 2020 to identify and track treatments for COVID-19. CORONA is the world’s largest database of COVID-19 treatments, including 400+ medications that have been administered to 280,000+. Now, he is leading the effort to find treatments for Castleman disease, COVID-19, and other diseases as co-Founder & President of the CDCN, Director of the Center for Cytokine Storm Treatment & Laboratory (CSTL) at the University of Pennsylvania, and a co-director of an FDA/NIH/C-Path public-private partnership called the CURE Drug Repurposing Collaboratory.

One of the youngest individuals ever appointed to the faculty at Penn Medicine and the top 1 percent youngest grant awardees of a leading NIH grant (R01), David Fajgenbaum has been profiled in a cover story by The New York Times, recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, as a top healthcare leader by Becker's Hospital Review, the Global Genes RARE Champion of Hope: Science awardee, and one of three recipients--including President Joe Biden--of a 2016 Atlas Award from the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. He has published scientific papers in high-impact journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, and the Journal of Clinical Investigation, including a paper selected as one of the top innovations in science and medicine by STAT News in 2020. Before co-founding the CDCN, David co-founded and led the Actively Moving Forward Support Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting grieving college students.

David earned a BS from Georgetown University magna cum laude with honors and distinction, MSc from the University of Oxford, MD from the University of Pennsylvania, and MBA from The Wharton School.


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