The Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation received a $930,000 gift from the Avon Foundation to support the UCLA -Avon Cares for Life program, under the direction of Dr. Judith Gasson, at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, and breast-imaging fellowships under the leadership of Dr. Lawrence Bassett. To date, the Avon Foundation has contributed more than $5 million to support breast-cancer screening and research at UCLA.
Annie and Kevin Barnes made a $100,000 gift to the Division of Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, to support a unique collaboration between the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the UCLA School of Dentistry. Dr. Elliot Abemayor, vice chair of the division, and Dr. David Wong, associate dean of research and professor in dentistry, are working together to develop a portable saliva test to identify biomarkers for a variety of cancers, including head and neck, breast and pancreatic, in their earliest stages when they are most treatable. The research team has a goal of making the test a routine part of every dental examination.
The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Foundation made a $2.5-million gift to the Division of Digestive Diseases in support of Dr. Charalabos “Harry” Pothoulakis and his research on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This funding will establish the Eli and Edythe L. Broad IBD Clinical Care and Clinical Research Program and the Eli and Edythe L. Broad IBD Clinical Care and Clinical Research Laboratory. Dr. Pothoulakis is director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center and a member of the executive committees of the Center for Ulcer Research and Education (CURE) and the Center for Neurovisceral Sciences and Women’s Health. He aims to link IBD with obesity and nutrition and has expanded his work to identify mechanisms by which diet-induced obesity and fat tissue affect colon cancer. His recent discoveries also connect for the first time the function of specific hormones and neuropeptides with both inflammation and inflammation-related colon cancer.
The Noreen Fraser Foundation (NFF) made an $850,000 gift to the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation to support women’s cancer research under the direction of Dr. John Glaspy. NFF uses educational and awareness campaigns to raise funds for translational cancer research aimed at developing new prevention methods, diagnostic tools and nontoxic therapies to treat women’s cancers.
Dr. Richard Merkin, president and CEO of Heritage Provider Network, and the Merkin Family Foundation have directed $1.1 million to the UCLA Department of Neurology. The Richard Merkin Foundation for Neural Regeneration will support research in neural repair and recovery being conducted by Dr. Bruce Dobkin, professor of clinical neurology. “This research can hopefully play an integral part in the progress following tragic injuries involving nerve response and recovery,” says Dr. Merkin. “Dr. Richard Merkin’s generous gift enables a collaboration of UCLA scientists to test novel strategies that aim to help people with brain or nerve damage from stroke, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, neuropathies and other neurological diseases,” says Dr. Dobkin. Heritage Provider Network, Inc. is on the cutting edge of the accountable-care model of healthcare delivery: coordinated, patient-doctor centric, integrated systems that represent the future of healthcare in the United States.
The Jean Perkins Foundation has been involved in many projects within the Department of Urology, as well as other fields of medicine at UCLA. Recently, it provided $300,000 for a urologic-oncology fellowship, as well as research support for the study of lower-urinarytract reconstruction using stem cells and tissue engineering. James J. Carroll III, president of the foundation, participates on the Board of Advisors, which comprises a dedicated group of donors and was created by Dr. Jean B. deKernion, chairman of the department. Mr. Carroll and his business partner, Joe Kennedy, have committed the foundation’s funds to projects that have been instrumental in the careers of several young urologic faculty and trainees and have advanced the diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of urologic diseases.
The UCLA Department of Urology received a $250,000 gift from the Prostate Cancer Foundation, thanks to the generosity of Lynda R. and Stewart A. Resnick, for the Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in prostate cancer. Their generous support will provide funding for young cancer investigators as they explore innovative research projects with transformative potential, such as developing individualized treatments for tumors and studying the effect of diet on prostate-cancer cell growth. The Resnicks also made a gift to the Department of Neurology at year-end 2010.
Maxine and Eugene Rosenfeld have made a $4-million bequest to UCLA; $1.5 million was directed to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA for medical scholarships. This commitment broadens their support of the health sciences, having endowed a chair in computational genetics and underwritten the work of the simulation center, as well as other areas across campus. Mrs. Rosenfeld sits on the medical school’s Board of Visitors, The UCLA Foundation’s Board of Governors, and the Women & Philanthropy Board of Directors. Mr. Rosenfeld, who holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from UCLA, has served as chairman and trustee of The UCLA Foundation and is a member of the UCLA Chancellor’s Associates. In 2010, he was awarded The UCLA Medal.
The Richard and Patricia Sinaiko family recently made a gift to support the David H. Solomon Lectureship in Geriatrics Program. Dr. Solomon, professor emeritus, served as chairman of the UCLA Department of Medicine for nine years and is an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of geriatric medicine. He played an integral role in the development of the UCLA Multicampus Division of Geriatric Medicine and founded the UCLA Center on Aging in 1991.
The Tchekmedyian Family Foundation made a $100,000 gift to establish the Tchekmedyian Family Scholarship Fund. Clinical faculty member N. Simon Tchekmedyian, M.D., FACP , and his wife, Seta Tchekmedyian, hope to help future UCLA medical students with the burdensome cost of a medical education. Four of the Tchekmedyians’ six children have UCLA roots. Nishan graduated from medical school in 2010 and is in residence at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Vatche is a fourth-year medical student and president of the Class of 2011; Alene was editor-in-chief of the Daily Bruin in 2010, her senior year; and Raffi is an under-graduate and member of the UCLA rowing team.