Dr. David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc, FCPP, is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN), Assistant Professor of Medicine in Translational Medicine & Human Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania, and Associate Director, Patient Impact for the Penn Orphan Disease Center. Dr. Fajgenbaum is also a patient battling idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease (iMCD). He became ill during his third year of medical school in 2010, had his last rites read, and had four deadly iMCD relapses. In 2012, Dr. Fajgenbaum co-founded the CDCN, through which he has spearheaded the “Collaborative Network Approach.” He currently leads 18 translational research studies, including an international natural history study, the first-ever NIH R01 grant studying iMCD, and a clinical trial of sirolimus in iMCD.
Fajgenbaum is in his longest remission ever thanks to a treatment that he identified, which had never been used for iMCD. He described his journey in his bestselling memoir, Chasing My Cure: A Doctor’s Race to Turn Hope Into Action, which has been translated into four languages, named one of the “Best Non-Fiction Books of 2019,” and profiled by Good Morning America, CNN, and BBC News, among others.
Check out the below video for a TED-style talk by Dr. Fajgenbaum about his battle, the CDCN’s innovative approach to research, and lessons about living from nearly dying during 2019 Exponential Medicine.