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Two-Time Cancer Survivor Tom Bumol on Life after Lymphoma

By March 1, 2019No Comments

When Tom Bumol, Ph.D., moved into his new office at the Allen Institute, he gave prominent placement on his desk to a few items from his past.

The first: An empty green and white cardboard box for Taltz, an injectable, prescription medication for severe psoriasis. The box doesn’t have Bumol’s name on it — it’s someone else’s prescription — but it owes its being to him.

It was one of the drugs he led the discovery and early development of during his 35-year tenure at the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, before he joined the Allen Institute in 2018 to help launch the new Allen Institute for Immunology as its Executive Director. When Bumol announced he was retiring from Lilly, a colleague quietly put his empty prescription box on Bumol’s desk and said, “Thank you.”

The second: A trio of PET CT scans of a patient’s body. On the left, there’s a clearly visible dark mass “the size of a Nerf football,” Bumol joked. On the right, its near disappearance about two months later.

This one is Bumol’s own.