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David Geffen School of Medicine


  Dr. Jennifer Singer with Peter Starrett
  Dr. Jennifer Singer with Peter Starrett

Top: Dance Marathon participants celebrate the funds raised.Photo: Kevin Moore. Bottom: (From left) Directors of the Center for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at UCLA Drs. Stan Nelson, Melissa Spencer and Carrie Miceli; Valerie Pappas Llauro; Jorge Llauro; Dr. Nancy Halnon; Amy Martin; and Alexander Llauro (front). Photo: Florian Barthelemy

The UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology (IUO) has received a contribution from Richard C. Blum and Senator Dianne Feinstein. The IUO, under the leadership of Dr. Arie Belldegrun, brings together a multidisciplinary team of scientists and physicians to develop leading-edge therapies for the treatment of prostate, kidney, bladder and testicular cancers. Florence and Harry Sloan also have made a $3.195-million contribution to the IUO. Both gifts will provide unrestricted support for the IUO at Dr. Belldegrun’s discretion.

Laurie and Steven Gordon have made a pledge to support the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge, which has a goal to cut the burden of depression in half by 2050. This gift was instrumental in helping launch the Innovative Treatment Network, which uses groundbreaking methodologies and technology to detect and treat patients with varying levels of depression. The Gordons’ contribution also named the Max Gray Lobby, located in the east elevator lobby in the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA.

William (Bill) E. Heyler, a dedicated and longtime donor to the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, made a bequest of $432,000 to the existing Heyler Family Fund through the William E. Heyler Charitable Remainder Trust. This visionary gift has endowed the Heyler Family Fund as a lasting tribute to Heyler and the Heyler family’s generosity. The endowment will support leading-edge research, education and treatment for the co-morbidity of autism and schizophrenia, under the guidance of the director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Semel Institute.

Dr. Ray and Mrs. Ghada Irani have made a new commitment that will benefit the UCLA Department of Urology and the UCLA Division of Nephrology. Distribution of the gift will be at the discretion of the UCLA Kidney Transplant Program’s medical director, Dr. Gabriel Danovitch, and its surgical director, Dr. H. Albin Gritsch (RES ’91). Funds will be used in part to develop an innovative program designed to assist living kidney donors in navigating the healthcare system and ensuring that they can easily access follow-up care.

The UCLA Pediatric AIDS Coalition (PAC), a student organization, held its Annual UCLA Pediatric AIDS Coalition’s Dance Marathon on the UCLA campus in April 2017. The 26-hour event draws more than 3,000 participants, who commit to staying on their feet through the night to support the fight against pediatric AIDS. Since 2011, PAC has contributed more than $174,000 to the UCLA AIDS Institute, which has been instrumental in funding seed grants for studies focusing on pediatric and adolescent research projects. This year, the event raised more than $434,000 overall, with 12 percent of the proceeds going directly to the UCLA AIDS Institute. In addition to supporting UCLA, PAC also contributes proceeds to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Project Kindle, a children’s camp.

A longtime philanthropic partner of the UCLA AIDS Institute, the James B. Pendleton Charitable Trust has made a $350,000 contribution to support HIV/AIDS research at the institute, under the direction of Dr. Irvin S.Y. Chen. The Pendleton Trust’s gift will enable the purchase and upgrade of essential instruments and allow the institute’s team of researchers to increase the speed and efficacy of data analysis on novel prevention and treatment efforts. The UCLA AIDS Institute was established in 1992 and is committed to eradicating HIV/ AIDS worldwide through research and clinical care.

The Walking Strong Foundation, founded by Valerie and Jorge Llauro, made a gift of $100,000 to the Center for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) at UCLA. Their son Alexander was diagnosed with DMD at age 5. DMD is one of the most common fatal genetic diseases of childhood; it is characterized by progressive muscle degeneration that leads to loss of ambulation. It affects approximately 1-in-5,000 boys, and there currently is no cure. The UCLA center leads the nation in translational science focused on DMD and is the first comprehensive Duchenne clinic in the Western United States. The contribution will support the center’s efforts to find treatments and extend lives.

For more information, contact Health Sciences Development at: (844) 474-4387


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