The award honors compelling presentations made to the philanthropic group by UCLA faculty members engaged in pediatric research. The fund will present Dr. Moore with a gift of $135,000 at a ceremony in June.
Moore's award-winning lecture, "Methods of Utilizing a Person's Own Immune System to Fight Cancer," described his UCLA multidisciplinary team's groundbreaking development of a new dendritic-cell vaccine protocol for children with usually fatal multiform brain tumors known as anaplastic astrocytoma and glioblastoma.
The new therapy takes stem cells from a patient's blood and develops them into dendritic cells that are professional antigen processors. The dendritic cells are then incubated with lysates from the tumor of the patient so that they can process tumor antigens and, once injected into the patient, can teach the patient's immune system to attack the cancer.
"Our group faced a difficult task — selecting one award recipient from a group of three very deserving, pioneering pediatric researchers at Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA," said Mary Ann Hagopian, co-chair of the Today's and Tomorrow's Children's Fund. "Dr. Moore's work in developing a vaccine for brain tumors has far-reaching implications, and we are delighted to be able to assist him in his endeavors to combat childhood cancer."
Organized in 2006, the Today's and Tomorrow's Children's Fund is a fundraising group that supports pediatric research at Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA. The group currently includes 27 volunteer members from the community. Candidates for the faculty presentation award present their research projects to the group members, who then select the winning presentation. Ultimately, the group hopes to expand its membership and to award an annual gift of $1million to one or more pediatric researchers.
Moore serves as clinical director of pediatric hematology-oncology and director of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Mattel Children's Hospital. He is active in clinical research, serving as UCLA's principal investigator for the Children's Oncology Group, the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium, and the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Consortium. In addition, he is the UCLA site director for the Glaser Pediatric Research Network.
Moore's research interests include pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplants, relapsed leukemia and infections in the immunocompromised patient. He works in collaboration with Dr. Kathleen Sakamoto, chief of pediatric hematology-oncology at UCLA, on translational research using targeted therapies in pediatric malignancies.
Moore is also interested in international medicine, and he is actively involved in international education and international relief efforts.
The inaugural winner of the Today's and Tomorrow's Children's Fund presentation award was Dr. Dan Levi, UCLA assistant professor of pediatric cardiology, who developed a collapsible heart valve for children with congenital heart disease using materials created in collaboration with mechanical and aerospace engineers.
For more information on the Today's and Tomorrow's Children's Fund, please contact Paula Jensik, director of development at Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 267-1832.
Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA is the highest rated children's hospital in Southern California and is a vital component of UCLA Medical Center, which is consistently ranked "Best in the West," in U.S. News & World Report's annual survey. The hospital offers a full spectrum of primary and specialized medical care for infants, children and adolescents. The mission of Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA is to provide state-of-the-art treatment for children in a compassionate atmosphere, as well as to improve the understanding and treatment of pediatric diseases. For more information, please visit www.mattel.ucla.edu.
UCLA has received an additional $46 million gift from longtime supporter and legendary entertainment visionary David Geffen, a reinvestment that brings the amount of the David Geffen Medical Scholarship Fund to $146 million.