|Last Thursday, May 15th, the Upper East Side’s Rockefeller University played host to some of New York’s most influential and notable names for the 17th Annual Women & Science Spring Lecture and Luncheon. For over 15 years, The Rockefeller University Women & Science initiative has brought more attention to the many important scientific contributions made by women, the imperative role of research on challenges related to women’s health, and created a network of support for both women in science as well as those looking to support the cause.
Through the Partners in Discovery fund-raising program Women & Science has raised over $21 million for women pursuing careers in the sciences at Rockefeller University. This year’s Lecture and Luncheon alone has raised over $1.7 million for the initiative.
|This year’s lecture was given by Rockefeller University’s own Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor, Dr. Elaine Fuchs, whose list of professional achievements include being awarded the National Medal of Science in 2009 by President Obama, and serving as president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. This year, Dr. Fuchs captivated the audience as she discussed her vigorous pursuit of information on stem cells- the body’s “fountain of youth” cells. Her research on the biology of the skin is breaking ground on the role that stem cells play in the generation and regeneration of tissue, revealing that molecular signals instruct skin stem cells when to make skin and when to halt repair.
Dr. Fuchs intelligently and eloquently explained that while skin stem cells normally only replace the skin’s lost or dying cells, they are related to many other types of stem cells that have the ability to repair every type of bodily tissue. This research has huge implications for the treatment of many illnesses from certain types of blindness to malignant tumors, and therefore its continued research is of utmost importance. After the fascinating and enlightening lecture given by Dr. Fuchs, guests enjoyed a beautiful luncheon on the esplanade and surely continued the discussion on the prior lecture.
|Guests who attended the event included Frances Beatty Adler, Sade Baderinwa, Gabrielle Bacon, Samantha Boardman, Debra Black, Wendy Breck, Tory Burch, Judy Carson, Eva Dubin, Blair Pillsbury Enders, Lise Evans, Princess Firyal of Jordan, Olivia Flatto, Clarita Fodor, Barrett Frelinghuysen, Marjorie Gubelman, Marlene Hess, Ronnie Heyman, Nancy Kissinger, Beth Kojima, Justine Koons, Nancy Marks, Lisa McCarthy, KT McFarland Gigi Mortimer, Claudia Overstrom, Karen de Saint Phalle, Alexis Phelps, Courtney Rae, Emily Rafferty, Amy Falls Rogers, Daryl Roth, Denise Saul, Christine Schwarzman, Sydney Shuman, Laurie Tisch, Shirin von Wulffen, Caroline Weber, Lulu Wang, Claude Wasserstein, and many others.|
|On May 13, The Animal Medical Center honored three special companion animals at its Sixth Annual Living Legends Luncheon held at The Metropolitan Club. The event drew more than 200 guests, including Nancy Kissinger, Gloria Gilbert Stoga, Tina Flaherty, Emilia Krimendahl, Cass Adelman, Robert Liberman and Alexandra Goelet.
Barbara Hoffman, Kane Nussbaum, Joanne Ronson, Helene Stein, Eva Usdan and Janet York co-chaired the luncheon. The 2014 Living Legends — Splash, a lovable Golden Retriever, Joey, an adorable Tonkinese kitten, and Snoot, a sweet Shih Tzu — survived incredible odds and are thriving — thanks to the love and commitment of their owners and the extraordinary care and treatment provided by specialty veterinarians at The Animal Medical Center (AMC).
The 2014 Living Legends Luncheon surpassed all previous years in number of attendees and donations which support The AMC, a non-profit hospital whose veterinarians provide the highest level of compassionate care for companion animals. An iconic New York institution since 1910, The AMC is also a world-renowned facility for veterinary education and research.
|On Monday, May 12th, Oscar-nominated actress Glenn Close, together with noted fashion designer Dana Buchman were honored at the Gray Matters at Columbia Spring Benefit Luncheon at The Plaza Hotel. The more than 400 guests surpassed last year’s fundraising effort, raising $538,000.
Each year, Gray Matters at Columbia honors an individual who has made significant contributions to promote brain research on mental illness. Both Ms. Close and Ms. Buchman have established themselves as advocates for greater access to mental health services. Past honorees at the Spring Benefit Luncheon include Andrew Solomon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Paula Zahn, Anne Ford, Jane Pauley and Dick Cavett.
|Ms. Close has spoken openly about her family’s experience with mental illness and that insight was the catalyst for Bring Change 2 Mind, which aims to end stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. It was difficulty accessing resources for her child that led Ms. Buchman to found the Promise Project, which helps underserved children with learning disabilities get the services they need.
Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, chairman of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, noted, “Research continues to be critical in advancing the development of life-saving treatments for psychiatric disorders. Support from families and committed citizens is more important than ever given the economic pressures and reductions in funding that researchers face.”
|Also honored was Giuseppe Bruno, owner of the celebrated Italian restaurant Sistina, Mr. Bruno, who was given a special Advocacy Award, has hosted events to support brain trauma and stress disorder research at Columbia Psychiatry.
Funds raised by the luncheon support research fellowships to help young scientists pursuing brain research to help solve the mystery of serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and autism. The chosen fellows benefit from the multidisciplinary expertise of a peerless team of clinicians and scientists that includes two Nobel laureates.
The 2013-14 Gray Matters Fellows are Sidney Hankerson, MD (Depression); Amir Levine, MD (Addiction, Adolescent Brain Development); Rachel Marsh, PhD (Pediatric Neuroimaging); and Holly Moore, PhD (Schizophrenia).
|Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, nurses, dentists, and public health professionals at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the Mailman School of Public Health, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. For more information, visit www.cumc.columia.edu.|
|On Wednesday, May 14th, nearly 300 supporters gathered in support of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) as its annual Bal du Printemps Gala at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. Willie Geist, co-anchor of NBC News’ “Today” and co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening.
Lucien J. Côté, M.D., Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Margo Catsimatidis, Jill Taub Drury, Cornelia Foss, Stephanie Goldman-Pittel, Karen Burke Goulandris, M.D., Ph.D., Isobel Robins Konecky and Arlene Levine were the Gala Co-Chairs.
|The black tie optional evening began with a cocktail reception at 6:30 PM followed by dinner and dancing at 7:30 PM.
Every year, philanthropic leaders join together at Bal du Printemps to help raise funds to support PDF’s research programs as well as to honor outstanding members of the community for their work against Parkinson’s.
|The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation supports research and ideas that will improve the lives and futures of people touched by Parkinson’s. Founded in 1957 by William Black, creator of Chock full o’Nuts, a successful New York coffee and restaurant business, PDF was the first national not-for-profit organization to focus on Parkinson’s disease. His widow Page Morton Black served as PDF’s Chairman for than 20 years. Since its founding, PDF has invested $100 million in the research of leading scientists around the world and has committed an additional $42 million to support education and advocacy programs.
For more information on the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, visit www.pdf.org.
|Catching up. Last Wednesday, May 14th, many prominent New Yorkers gathered with music legends for Caron New York’s 20th Annual Gala Fundraiser at Cipriani 42nd Street. The event raised more than $1 million, all of which will be used towards charity recovery services. Caron’s own Harris Stratyner Ph.D , Honoree’s Frankie Valli and Denise LeFrak Calicchio were joined by Paul Williams, James Lipton, David Johansen and comedian Stewie Stone. The Goo Goo Dolls Johnny Rzeznik was also honored but at the last minute was unable to attend.|
|During the evening’s presentation guests heard a performance by the NYU a capella group Ani V’Ata of Frankie Valli’s songs and a special rendition of the song “Denise, Denise,” followed by a welcome from Caron’s Chairman of the Board John Fitzsimmons.
There were heartfelt testimonials from Caron graduates and key staff including Rev Jack Abel, President and CEO Doug Teiman and Regional Vice President Todd Whitmer.
A beautiful film introduced Denise LeFrak Calicchio, who was presented with and accepted The Richard J Caron Award of Excellence from Juliana Terain.
|This was followed by a hilarious comedy skit from Stewie Stone and a personal presentation from last year’s Artistry and Advocacy Award honoree Paul Williams to Frankie Valli.
Throughout the evening, each participant in their own way articulated the pressing need for addiction treatment and made clear that recovery is not just about abstinence from drugs or alcohol, but the possibility of living a beautiful and full life.
Television personality Ira Joe Fisher and Gala co-chair Neil Lasher encouraged guests to make spontaneous contributions and coupled with the silent auction - featuring generously donated unique items from Joe Walsh, James Taylor, Bon Jovi, The David Letterman Show, Tiffanys and honorees Frankie Valli and Denise LeFrak Calicchio. More than a million dollars was raised.
|Caron is a nationally recognized nonprofit provider of alcohol and drug addiction treatment, which gives more money towards addiction treatment scholarships than any other organization. Last year alone it provided more than $17 million to individuals and their families. Caron New York continues its mission of providing "Recovery for Life" through unique services offered for adolescents, young adults, adults and their families.
Each year Caron New York celebrates individuals who have made an impact through their art, their philanthropy, their vocation and their scope and audience. Previous Artist Award recipients include Roseanne Cash, Judy Collins, Art Garfunkel, Patti LaBelle and Paul Williams.
|Photographs by Patrick McMullan (Rockefeller University & Caron); Patrick McMullan & Janet Charles (PDF);|