Gift Advances Focal Therapy Research
William J. Howard has made a $100,000 contribution to the UCLA Department of Urology to advance the research of Dr. Leonard S. Marks (RES ’78), professor of urology and Jean B. deKernion, M.D., Endowed Chair in Urology, into focal therapy for prostate cancer. Focal therapy involves a process of ablating the lesion without removing the organ. In the United States, prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men. For the estimated 80,000 men who are diagnosed each year with intermediate-risk lesions, neither surgery nor active surveillance is appropriate, making focal therapy a promising treatment.
“When Dr. Marks explained the high-intensity focused ultrasound procedure and told me about all the fancy equipment they would be using to zap my cancer, I was sold on UCLA Urology,” Howard said. “Since having the procedure, with great results, I decided what they are doing at UCLA needs all of our support and dollars, and I was convinced that in the very near future, men’s PSA problems will be solved with a simple outpatient office procedure, all because of Dr. Marks’ leadership and hard work.”
Dr. Marks is among the leaders in advancing focal therapy, which offers the possibility of a cure without the complications of whole-organ treatment. He also has pioneered the development of targeted prostate biopsy.
For more information, contact Gretchen McGarry at: 310-794-4746
A Wife Honors Her Husband’s Lifetime Love Affair with UCLA
“I believe my husband Karl was taken to UCLA for the first time when he was 16 years old,” said Maria LeCompte. “It was a lifetime love affair, and he only trusted UCLA Health.” When her husband was diagnosed with arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy, UCLA became the couple’s second home. Following Karl’s death in July 2020, Maria contributed $50,000 to establish two research funds in the Division of Cardiology in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
“It was clear to me that the best way to honor Karl’s memory and the amazing doctors who took care of him would be to make a donation to UCLA,” Maria said.
The funds, named in recognition of Karl’s physicians, include the Dr. Eric Buch Cardiac Arrhythmia Research Fund, which will support research into cardiac arrhythmia and related activities under the direction of Dr. Buch (FEL ’07, ’08), and the Dr. Arnold Baas General Fund in Cardiology, which will provide resources for research, clinical care and education efforts under the direction of Dr. Baas. The gift also will name the Karl LeCompte Exam Room in the UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Medical Building.
For more information, contact Noah Green at: 424-325-8184
Gary Barber Establishes Innovation Fund for Celiac Disease
A $1 million gift from Gary Barber has established the Barber Family Celiac Disease Innovation Fund to enhance the Celiac Disease Program, a cornerstone of the Melvin and Bren Simon Digestive Diseases Center in the UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases. In addition, an equivalent matching contribution was made to the program, amplifying the impact of Barber’s support for celiac disease, an inherited autoimmune disorder in which the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. The disease has increased fourfold since the mid-20th century.
“As one of the top medical and research institutions in the nation, UCLA is the right place to which to direct some of our philanthropy,” Barber said. “It is meaningful to our family to support UCLA teams and their efforts to improve the quality of life for generations of patients.”
The Barber Innovation Fund will benefit clinical care for celiac disease, fuel new discoveries that translate to better patient care and educate the next generation of physicians. This investment will further strengthen the program’s whole-person approach to nutrition, which promotes education and lifestyle strategies to reduce stress and improve patient well-being.
The UCLA Celiac Disease Program is the first of its kind in the Greater Los Angeles area, and it is among fewer than 10 nationally that provide comprehensive care for the disorder. The UCLA Manoukian Division serves patients through 11 clinical sites across the region and telemedicine.
For more information, contact Laurel Zeno at: 310-418-2364