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David Geffen School of Medicine

Great Minds Gala Supports Outstanding Young Researchers


On April 19, 2015, The Friends of the Semel Institute, founded by Vicky Goodman, who also serves as its president, held its Great Minds Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel to raise awareness for illnesses of the mind and brain. UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block was among the honorees and received the Visionary Award for his influential leadership and his research in neuroscience. Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, producers of the critically acclaimed Showtime hit Homeland, received the Artistic Award of Courage for highlighting bipolar disorder in their show. The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy, former representative from Rhode Island who introduced legislation to place mental illness under the umbrella of health insurance, received the Humanitarian Award for his activism on behalf of mental-health causes. Emmy Award-winning comedian Paula Poundstone served as event emcee, and singer Judy Collins and the Wesley Colburn Singers provided entertainment. The event raised more than $1 million and will benefit The Friends’ Scholar Program, which awards grants to young, promising scientists conducting research to better understand and treat mental, developmental and neurological disorders.

For more information, contact Alan Han at: (310) 825-1546


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