UCLA Neurology Celebrates the Laurie and Steven C. Gordon Chair in Neurosciences

Friends - U Magazine Spring 2023
UCLA Neurology Celebrates Laurie and Steven C. Gordon Chair, U Magazine Spring 2023
(From left) Carol Block, Chancellor Gene D. Block, Laurie Gordon, Dr. Guo, Steven Gordon and Dr. John C. Mazziotta. Photo by Todd Cheney/UCLA

On October 11, 2022, UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block and Carol Block welcomed Laurie and Steven C. Gordon, Dr. Ming Guo (RES ’01, FEL ’02), their families and UCLA faculty to the UCLA Chancellor’s Residence. The evening celebrated the Gordons’ gift to establish the Laurie and Steven C. Gordon Chair in Neurosciences and Dr. Guo’s appointment as the inaugural chair holder.

“The university is very grateful to Laurie and Steve for their dedication to furthering studies into Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions,” Chancellor Block said. “Thank you for establishing the neuroscience chair and providing funding for other endowed chairs that are vital to our health sciences efforts.”

The Laurie and Steven C. Gordon Chair in Neurosciences is part of a $25 million gift made in 2018 by the Gordons to establish the UCLA Laurie and Steven Gordon Commitment to Cure Parkinson’s Disease in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. In recognition of the contribution, the UCLA Neuroscience Research Building was renamed the Laurie and Steven Gordon Neurosciences Research Building.

“Finding a cure for Parkinson’s is very important to our family,” Steven Gordon said. “Laurie and I have seen the difference funding can make in accelerating research. It’s a long but worthwhile process, and we are committed to supporting scientists such as Dr. Guo who have the ability to make a difference and find answers for debilitating, neurodegenerative diseases.”

Dr. Guo, professor of neurology, molecular and medical pharmacology and director of the UCLA Aging Center, specializes in research and the clinical care of patients with memory, neurodegenerative and neurogenetic disorders, including Parkinson’s. She has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, McKnight Neurobiology of Brain Disorders Award and the Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Awards in Neuroscience. Funds from the endowed chair will enable Dr. Guo to further advance Parkinson’s research, patient care and education.

“Laurie and Steve are true philanthropists,” said Dr. John C. Mazziotta (RES ’81, FEL ’83), vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and CEO of UCLA Health. “Endowing chairs provides a significant benefit that strengthens our competitive edge and provides investigators with flexibility to pursue leading-edge scientific studies that can be applied in a clinical setting and benefit patients around the world.”

Johnese Spisso, MPA, president of UCLA Health, CEO of the UCLA Hospital System and associate vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences, also added her appreciation for the Gordons, and said, “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Steven and Laurie for their incredible support, tireless engagement and vision for neuroscience. The Gordons truly go the extra mile with their desire to help others, and it is appreciated across the campus.”

Dr. S. Thomas Carmichael (FEL ’01), chair of the UCLA Department of Neurology and Frances Stark Chair in Neurology, presented Dr. Guo and the Gordons with commemorative chair trophies.

“It is an honor to be the inaugural chair holder, and I am grateful to Laurie and Steven,” Dr. Guo said. “I am committed to finding cures to alleviate the burden of Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.”

Others in attendance for the special event included Renee and Meyer Luskin, Shirley and Ralph Shapiro, May and Richard Ziman and former U.S. Ambassador to Italy and the Republic of San Marino the Hon. Ron Spogli and the Hon. Georgia Spogli.

For more information, contact Christopher Carbado at: 310-562-6498