Attendees at the 2016 Visionary Ball, held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on October 27, 2016, helped raise more than $1.2 million to benefit the Department of Neurosurgery in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Hosted by Emmy Award-winning television personality Larry Wilmore, the event supports the department's crucial research initiatives.
"We are excited to celebrate our amazing honorees and raise funds to advance the most sophisticated neurosurgical treatments in the nation," said Dr. Neil A. Martin, former chair of the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery and W. Eugene Stern Chair in Neurosurgery, who left UCLA at the end of 2016. "Our joint efforts will further our ability to help more patients and their family members with some of the most complicated neurological disorders."
Edie Baskin Bronson and Susan Dolgen, longtime supporters of the Department of Neurosurgery, served as event co-chairs. Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, honored last year with the Visionary Award, returned to serve as honorary co-chairs. Guests enjoyed dinner, award presentations, patient testimonials and a performance by UCLA graduate and contestant on The Voice India Carney.
The Visionary Award went to Michael V. Lewis, CEO and co-founder of RealD. Lewis's leading-edge advances in visual technology have been used for robotic medical procedures and to pilot the Mars Rover and pioneer digital 3-D cinema.
Dr. Linda M. Liau (RES '97, FEL '98), director of the UCLA Brain Tumor Program, vice chair of research and professor and interim chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, was honored with the Medical Visionary Award. Dr. Liau and her research team have developed the first personalized brain-cancer vaccine in the United States, made by isolating a specific immune cell in the patient and combining it with the patient's own tumor tissue.
Writer, producer and director Donald P. Bellisario received the Courage Award. Bellisario created/produced a number of television series, including Magnum P.I. and NCIS, and is the recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Rodney Respect Award went to Emmy Award-winning comedian Jon Lovitz. His television and film credits include The Wedding Singer, Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons.
For more information, contact Victoria Medford at: (310) 267-9475
For more information, visit the Visionary Ball website.