For the second consecutive year, the Annenberg Foundation has supported the work of Dr. Reza Jarrahy, assistant professor, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, with $150,000 designated for UCLA ’s Craniofacial Clinic. Dr. Jarrahy treats pediatric and adult patients from all over the world with rare and complicated craniofacial disorders. His research focuses on tissue engineering to develop a bone-graft substitute for bone loss due to congenital, traumatic or surgical causes. In addition, Dr. Jarrahy travels abroad to provide reconstructive surgery to craniofacial patients in developing countries who lack access to medical care.
The Division of Liver and Pancreas Transplantation received a total of $700,000 to date from David Caspino, president of RDC Collective. These current-use funds support the clinical operations of the UCLA Liver Transplant Program, which provides a full spectrum of services for end-stage liver disease and cancer, transplantation of the pancreas for diabetes mellitus, and surgical and medical treatment options for all forms of liver diseases, from primary and metastatic tumors and chronic and congenital diseases to viral hepatitis, biliarytract abnormalities and portal hypertension.
The Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation received gifts totaling more than $3.1 million from the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) during the 2010-2011 fiscal year. These contributions continue EIF ’s long-standing commitment to advancing breast- and ovariancancer research under the direction of Dr. Dennis Slamon.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded $747,355 over two years to support UCLA Family Common’s coaching-in-life skills, directed by Dr. Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus, for students at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Los Angeles. The goal is to demonstrate the integration of social- and emotionalwellness strategies with the daily curriculum through teachers, administrators, parents and the children themselves. The primary deliverables will be 1) a new integrative-teaching curriculum for promoting wellness in schools, 2) a new model of parental engagement for social and emotional behaviors, and 3) a training manual for disseminating these practices to other schools.
Diann H. Kim and John B. Frank made a $1.5-million pledge to the Division of Liver and Pancreas Transplantation. The Kim-Frank Family Fund for Surgery will support UCLA ’s Liver Transplant Program – the most active in the world, directed by Dr. Ronald W. Busuttil. Research priorities to be underwritten include developing increasingly effective immunosuppressive regimens and drugs, refining surgical techniques and discovering new protocols for the treatment of rejection and other critical medical complications.
An innovative pilot project has been launched by Sherry Lansing, chair of the University of California Board of Regents, and her husband, Academy Award–winning film director William Friedkin. They wish to help counter the staggering rate of surgical-site infections that are contracted in the U.S. each year – between 800,000 and 2 million. An award from The Sherry Lansing Foundation is benefiting the Surgical Infections Quality Improvement Project, under the direction of Dr. Richard J. Shemin in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Dr. Daniel Z. Uslan in the Division of Infectious Diseases. In an era of greater accountability and health reform, the initiative offers an opportunity to pioneer best practices and to create a model program that can be established at hospitals nationwide.
The Robert R. McCormick Foundation awarded a $1-million grant to support Dr. Patricia Lester and Dr. Shirley Glynn’s three-year initiative in providing behavioral healthcare research and services to returning service members and families through the Welcome Back Veterans UCLA Family Resiliency Center.
Mr. and Mrs. Murray H. Neidorf pledged $250,000 to the Gloria Neidorf Fund for Bipolar Research in support of the UCLA Mood Disorders Research Program under the leadership of Dr. Lori Altshuler. Furthermore, they added to their significant contributions to Dr. Linda Liau’s brain-tumor investigations in the Department of Neurosurgery by committing $200,000 to the Neidorf Family Fund for Translational Pediatric Brain Cancer Research, bringing the family’s (including son and daughter-in-law Michael and Rebecca) total support of pediatric neurosurgery to $850,000 since 2004.
POM Wonderful LLC made a $475,869 pledge over three years to support research and education related to the effects of pomegranates on memory and cognitive function. This work is under the direction of Dr. Gary Small in the Memory and Aging Research Center at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA .
A loyal Bruin and long-time donor, Mrs. Raymond (Shirley) Rothman and daughters Rita and Marcie have been involved with CASIT (Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology), UCLA ’s interdisciplinary research institute designed to revolutionize surgical education and training. In 2006, the Rothman Family Seed Fund for CASIT Research was established to underwrite promising investigations under the direction of Dr. E. Carmack Holmes, executive director. Mrs. Rothman passed away in July 2010; her estate generously provided for CASIT to carry on her family’s charitable legacy.
The UniHealth Foundation awarded $549,656 over two years to the UCLA Global Center for Children and Families in the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA . It will underwrite a comprehensive obesity-prevention program, under the direction of Dr. Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus, at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools. Additionally, UniHealth awards $50,000 per year to the Department of Family Medicine in support of the International Medical Graduate (IMG ) Program. It is a unique pre-residency program that prepares bilingual (English- Spanish), bi-cultural IMG s to become Boardcertified family physicians in California. Upon completion of the residency, participants are required to spend 18 to 36 months in an underserved community. Since 2000, UniHealth also has provided a $50,000 scholarship annually for one third- or fourth-year medical student who has expressed a desire to practice medicine in medically underserved communities.
The Vons Foundation made a gift of $350,000 to the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation to support UCLA ’s participation in the Athena Breast Health Network, a collaborative effort across five University of California medical centers to improve breast cancer patient care. To date, The Vons Foundation has contributed $1.1 million to the Athena site at UCLA .
Mr. Seth Wohlberg, founder of the RE Children’s Project, has given $111,000 to researchers in UCLA Neurosurgery to better understand the cause of Rasmussen’s encephalitis (RE ). It is a rare neurological disease that causes intractable epileptic seizures, cognitive deficits, and paralysis of half the body. RE typically affects previously normal children between two and 10 years old, as was the case for Mr. Wohlberg’s daughter Grace, who was 10 when she started exhibiting symptoms. She underwent a hemispherectomy, the only known cure for the associated seizures in which half of the brain is removed. Mr. Wohlberg has become the leading national advocate for this disease, funding research at top medical institutions, including UCLA .