Professor Dr. Claus Bartram, dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Heidelberg (left), presents a Medal of the Faculty to alumnus Bart Barlogie, M.D., Ph.D., director of the UAMS Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, in honor of his life’s work in treating multiple myeloma.
Sept. 19, 2013 | The University of Heidelberg in Germany presented a Medal of the Faculty to alumnus and internationally known multiple myeloma pioneer Bart Barlogie, M.D., Ph.D., this summer, honoring his life’s work.
Barlogie, founding director of the UAMS Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy and a professor in the UAMS College of Medicine, received the medal during a July ceremony at an international symposium hosted at the university where he graduated in 1969. The topic of the symposium was the use of stem cell transplantation for disease treatment — a technique Barlogie led the way in using for treating multiple myeloma.
In a note about the Stem Cells in Development and Disease conference, Anthony D. Ho, M.D., chair and professor of the Department of Medicine at the University of Heidelberg, termed Barlogie’s “enormous” contribution to the science of stem cell transplantation.
“I’m honored by this gesture from my friends and colleagues at the University of Heidelberg,” Barlogie said. “It is nice to revisit this place that helped form my thinking and career path, ultimately leading me to Arkansas and the Myeloma Institute.”
The UAMS institute has had a relentless dedication to cure multiple myeloma since Barlogie arrived at UAMS in 1989, a time when the median survival for myeloma patients was only 30 months. Today’s median survival figures for patients treated at the Myeloma Institute exceed 10 years.
Barlogie credited blood stem cell transplants as a major factor in helping multiple myeloma patients at UAMS. “The transplants are a vital part of our total therapy treatment protocol,” he said in 2007 when the institute passed the 7,000 mark for transplant procedures.
The stem cells are typically collected from the patient at the outset of treatment and then given back as a transfusion to promote recovery of the bone marrow following high-dose chemotherapy. Stem cell transplantation has led to higher survival and remission rates for those patients with multiple myeloma.
The medal from his alma mater is only the latest honor for Barlogie, who in 2006 was named a National Physician of the Year by the organization responsible for the America’s Top Doctors publication. In 2004, he received the Robert A. Kyle Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Myeloma Foundation.