CLL Global Research Foundation President | Dr. William Wierda

William Wierda MD, PhD
President & CEO, CLL Global Research Foundation
Executive Medical Director, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

William Wierda, President and CEO of the CLL Global Research Foundation discusses  his hope for the future of the organization.


DrWilliam Wierda:

I’m Bill Wierda. I work at MD Anderson in the Department of Leukemia. I wear several hats. I’m the head of the CLL section at MD Anderson. I’m a Medical Director for the Department of Leukemia at Anderson and In-Patient Medical Director for MD Anderson for the In-Patient Medical Services. And I also chair the NCCN panel for CLL.

The CLL Global Research Foundation has been an organization that has supported research for patients with CLL for a number of years. It was formed by Dr. Keating several years ago as a way for individuals to donate and for scientists and clinicians who are familiar with the disease to sort of coordinate where that funding goes for the research.

So, for me, it’s important to continue the legacy of Dr. Keeting, and that is for the research for – and also to provide an environment of collaboration for people who work in CLL. And that’s what I believe we achieve with this meeting that we have, which is the alliance meeting. And it’s also important to work and educate the next generation. And so, it’s very important for me to support and to be involved with training fellows and working with fellows and working with young investigators, people who are excited and interested in the disease, and mentoring them for the next generation of work that will be done for CLL.

Growing our donor source and making sure that we have adequate funding to support the research. The other thing that we do that I feel is very valuable is we do have sort of an outreach for patients. We have a couple times a year, town halls. 

These are informational sessions for patients, for patients to learn and understand from individuals who are supported by the foundation for their research and give patients an opportunity to interact with those of us who are studying CLL, to ask questions, and to get information and educate them about the disease and new treatments. So, I didn’t mention that, but that’s another arm of activity that we have with the foundation that’s extremely important.

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