(From left) Tom Davies; Dr. Kelsey C. Martin, interim dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Nadia Davies; a portrait of Alfonsina Davies; Davies Chair recipient Dr. Gary Mathern; and Dr. Neil A. Martin, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery and W. Eugene Stern Chair in Neurosurgery..
Nadia and Tom Davies have helped ensure that the legacy of their late daughter Alfonsina “Nina” Davies lives on by funding the Dr. Alfonsina Q. Davies Endowed Chair in Honor of Paul Crandall, MD, for Epilepsy Research. Following the passing in 2011 of their daughter, who battled intractable epilepsy throughout her life, the Davieses established the chair through a $2-million pledge to the Department of Neurosurgery in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
During a special ceremony, the department celebrated the Davies family’s gift and the appointment of Dr. Gary Mathern (RES ’91), professor of pediatric neurosurgery and director of the Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery Program, as the inaugural chair holder. The Davieses and Dr. Mathern, along with their families and friends, attended the event.
Expressing their pride at Dr. Mathern’s appointment, Nadia Davies said, “He has saved and improved the lives of hundreds of infants and children through his expertise in hemispherectomy and studying the brain cells associated with epilepsy. We established the endowed chair to accelerate research so that more patients like Nina can go on to realize their dreams. We hope the chair will raise awareness about epilepsy and eventually eliminate the stigma that surrounds this disease.”
The chair will support Dr. Mathern’s pioneering research into rare brain diseases and epilepsy. Receiving the endowment was a special honor for him, as it is named after his mentor, Dr. Paul Crandall, who founded the epilepsy-surgery research program at UCLA in 1960 and treated Nina Davies.
For more information, please contact Victoria Medford at: (310) 267-9475