Jim Easton, a 1959 graduate of UCLA, donated $10 million to the UCLA Alzheimer’s Disease Center, directed by Dr. Jeffrey Cummings. The center was founded in 1991 to conduct research and provide care relevant to normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of lateonset cognitive decline. In recognition of Mr. Easton’s generosity, the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research was named in honor of his mother. The gift includes a $5-million endowment plus $5 million to support research by the newly established Jim Easton Consortium for Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Discovery and Biomarker Development.
Mr. Easton is chairman and chief executive officer of Jas. D. Easton Inc., a privately owned manufacturer of sports equipment, and is a member of both the U.S. and the International Olympic Committees. “My mother lived a long and productive life that ended in a devastating way,” Mr. Easton says. “I hope my gift, along with donations from many others, will help make it possible for the talented scientists and physicians at UCLA to develop a cure and eventually prevent Alzheimer’s disease.”
In addition, the UCLA Cardiovascular Discovery Fund (CDF) received $1.65 million to establish the Jim Easton Investigator Fund to support the work of a researcher. CDF targets promising, novel strategies that will expedite the acquisition of basic-science results and translate them into clinical applications for patients with cardiovascular disease.
The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) directed gifts totaling $3 million to the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation during the 2008-09 fiscal year. These contributions support high-priority clinical/ translational women’s-cancer research projects led by Dr. Dennis Slamon. Over the past 15 years, EIF has contributed nearly $30 million to support cancer research at UCLA.
Ronald A. Katz, in honor of his late wife, Maddie, pledged funds to fully endow the Maddie Katz Chair in Palliative Care Research and Education in the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. He made an additional gift to create the Katz Family Palliative Care Education Endowed Fund under the direction of the chair holder.
Dr. S. Sanford Kornblum and Charlene S. Kornblum have made a $1-million gift to the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation to establish the S. Sanford Kornblum, M.D., and Charlene S. Kornblum Family Quasi-endowment for Brain Cancer Research at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Kornblums’ generosity will fund innovative research in this challenging field for many years to come.
The Mattel Children’s Foundation, in celebration of the 10-year anniversary of Mattel’s partnership with the UCLA Department of Pediatrics and Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, made a pledge of $2 million to support nanopediatrics, which will focus on technology and medicine at the molecular level for the care of children. The gift also underwrites the International Network Initiative to bring these developments to kids around the world. “The Mattel Children’s Foundation is excited to support this groundbreaking program in nanopediatrics, which will revolutionize the research and treatment of illnesses that affect young patients,” says Kevin Farr, chairman of the foundation and chief fi nancial officer of Mattel, Inc. “Our philanthropic vision is to make a meaningful difference, one child at a time, and we believe that the nanopediatrics program will advance more personalized, and consequently more effective, healthcare treatments for children.”