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Recent 2015 UCLA Brain Tumor Research Fundraising Events & Other Happenings

By Jeannine Walston  |   Dec - 1 - 2015  |  


Art of the Brain UCLA Neuro-Oncology Program fundraising event occurred on September 27, 2015. IMG_3291The experience transmitted the cause for brain tumor patients in the beauty and pain of those affected by the disease. Leaders presented their passion to further advance research and effective treatments. I had the privilege to speak with prominent MDs and PhDs creating new advances at UCLA, nationally, and internationally, as well as brain tumor patients. That included Timothy Cloughesy, MD, my brilliant neuro-oncologist, Director of the UCLA Neuro-Oncology Program, and well-known innovator, David Nathanson, PhD, recipient of The Johnny Mercer Foundation Research Award at the event and pioneer in making change, as well as Michael E. Phelps, biophysicist who invented Positron Emission Tomography (PET) used around the world for cancer and other health conditions.

Visionary Ball 2015 fundraising event for UCLA Neurosurgery in Beverly Hills where I spoke last IMG_3472year happened again on October 29, 2015. The evening was delightful and delicious with friends and leaders in the field helping many lives, including myself. Many thanks to UCLA for all of what you do, and in my world with emphasis to my neurosurgeon Linda Liau, MD, PhD and Director of the UCLA Neurosurgery Brain Tumor Program, pioneer with DCVax-L vaccine, and many other accomplishments.

UCLA magazine fall edition in 2015 has a wonderful article called Golden Portal Fundraiser Joins Movie, Medicine and Technology featuring the fourth annual event this year. (I am included about receiving a Tenacious Bravery Award from the UCLA Brain Tumor Program.)

Ted Gagliano originally funded $1 million to the UCLA Neurosurgery Brain Tumor Program for vaccine trials before starting Golden Portal Awards with Loic Bailly to raise money in the film industry. UCLA magazine article explains some brilliant movie-medicine-technology advancements with Ted and UCLA.

“This year also served as a technology showcase, featuring multiple demonstrations of an ongoing collaboration between Gagliano and Dr. Neil Martin, chair of UCLA Neurosurgery, who are developing virtual-reality applications for surgical training and preparation.

‘I had the privilege of working on Avatar and believed there would be bigger implications for what we were creating,’ said Gagliano. “Now, I am thrilled to work with the surgeons and scientists at UCLA to apply these technologies in ways that will help patients have smoother, faster surgeries so they can recover more quickly.”

In early November of 2015, I went on a dynamic tour of the Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Lab with Dr. Liau IMG_3575and Robert M. Prins, PhD. Since I was in one of their trials of DCVax-L immunotherapy with a dendritic cell vaccine, researched study results, and I’ve met brain tumor survivors treated in their studies—including their longest patient on the trial who is now a 15-year survivor, I know that UCLA’s accomplishments are utterly impressive. UCLA’s research studies in Phase I, II, and III trials of the DCVax-L show significant results. I am eager to see FDA approval.