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Health Happenings—TCRF’s Tower Of Hope Gala To Honor Meryl And Russell Kern, Dr. Robert Figlin, Shelley And Jan Rosen

Russell & Meryl Kern

Posted: Monday, April 24, 2017 – 1:51 PM

Leaders in entertainment, politics, business and medicine will gather at Tower Cancer Research Foundation’s Tower of Hope Gala on Thursday, May 4, to honor Meryl and Russell Kern, Dr. Robert Figlin and Shelley and Jan Rosen for their ongoing commitment to raising awareness about cancer, and ending the disease. The event begins at 6 p.m. at the Beverly Hilton.

Several research grants will be awarded at the gala, including a $500,000 Senior Investigator Grant to explore how the chemotherapy drug Oxaliplatin increases the effectiveness of certain immune checkpoint inhibitors in lung cancer. Grants will also support research that attempts to better understand how each cancer tumor is different, so that in the future oncologists will be able to pick the right drugs for each unique patient and tumor, and how to make immunotherapy more relevant for sarcoma. 

Over the last 20 years, Tower has raised more than $30 million, funding that supports a multitude of different scientific grants from one-year $100,000 Career Development Grants to five year $500,000 Senior Investigator Grants to $1,000,000 Multi-disciplinary Discovery Funds.

Tower has participated in funding more than 200 clinical trials, and provided more than $2 million in seed money for young cancer researchers from the Southern California community via the organization’s Career Development Grants. This funding gives these young, aspiring scientists the ability to move forward with their clinical research, often allowing them to develop their novel hypotheses and create a promising foundation from which to pursue further research funding. Tower’s seed money research investment strategy has led to $35 million in additional funding from other foundations and cancer centers for these investigators.

Tower’s patient support division, Magnolia House, is an integrative survivorship wellness center with in-depth programs offered at no cost to cancer survivors and their loved ones. Tower’s goal is to help participants develop a physical and emotional toolkit to manage the challenges of the disease. Magnolia House offers programs and workshops, including six-week classes for cancer survivors that address end-stage disease challenges, classes for cancer caregivers, cooking classes to develop a nutritional approach to cancer survival, and individually tailored experiences such as a one-on-one fitness training with a cancer-trained therapist. Tower also supports a variety of Southern California community partners who bring vital cancer programs to underserved populations throughout L.A.

• Russell Kern is founder and president of KERN, an Omnicom multi-channel advertising agency. Russell Kern has worked with senior marketing leaders at companies such as AT&T, SAP, HP, AAA, Canon and Welch/Allyn. He is also the board chair of of Beit T’Shuvah. With a 20-year track record of campaign management in L.A.and New York, Meryl Kern worked at one of the top advertising agencies in New York City. She \went on to open her own boutique agency where she worked with an assortment of clients. In September 2014, Meryl Kern’s life was changed forever when she diagnosed with breast cancer. Now cancer free, Meryl together with Russell are passionate supporters of Tower, where they established the Meryl Kern Survivorship Program to help patients post treatment.

• Robert A. Figlin, MD, FACP, is the Steven Spielberg Family Chair in hematology oncology, professor of medicine and biomedical sciences, director of the division of hematology/oncology, deputy director of the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and deputy director, integrated oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He is an emeritus professor of medicine and urology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. Before joining Cedars-Sinai, Figlin was the Arthur and Rosalie Kaplan Endowed Chair of the Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research, and the associate director for clinical research at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center. Before that, Figlin served as the Henry Alvin and Carrie L. Meinhardt Endowed Chair in Urologic Oncology and Professor of Medicine and Urology in the Divisions of Hematology/Oncology and Urologic Oncology at  the Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Figlin was editor of the Kidney Cancer Journal, and his studies have appeared in Clinical Cancer Research, Journal of Clinical Oncology, New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, JNCI, Lancet Oncology and Journal of Urology, among others. A nationally recognized leader in genitourinary and thoracic oncology, Dr. Figlin has authored more than 350 peer reviewed articles, more than 70 book chapters, and has published as editor of multiple books on kidney cancer.
• Shelley Rosen graduated from the University of Toledo with a teaching degree and it was there that she met Jan, her husband of 46 years. Jan Rosen began his career with a degree in advertising and eventually became a mogul in textiles and even the toy business. Today he is the owner of DL & Co., a home décor company. Shelley Rosen has spent many years as a member of  TCRF support group, the Magnolia Council.  Jan Rosen along with Bobby Margolis and Dr. Peter Waldstein started a golf tournament 17 years ago to raise money for Pediatric Aids.  He then brought his talents to the Beit T’shuva Golf Tournament, and eventually spearheaded the launch of the Jack Mishkin Memorial Golf Classic at Tower. In the four years since its inception, Tower’s Jack Mishkin Golf Classic has raised nearly $1 million.
Gala tickets are available at or by calling 310-299-8477.


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