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TCRF Gala Honors Philanthropists Meryl & Russell Kern, Shelley & Jan Rosen and Dr. Robert Figlin

At the Tower Cancer Research Foundation’s Tower of Hope gala earlier this month were (from left): honorees Jan and Shelley Rosen, Board Chair Nancy Mishkin, honoree Dr. Robert Figlin, Sally Magaram (gala chair) and honorees Meryl and Russell Kern.

Posted: Friday, May 19, 2017 – 6:41 PM

Meryl and Russel Kern, Dr. Robert Figlin and Shelley and Jan Rosen were honored for their ongoing commitment to raising awareness about cancer, and their dedication to ending the disease at the Tower Cancer Research Foundation’s (TCRF) Tower of Hope gala earlier this month at the Beverly Hilton.

More than 700 attended the event which raised nearly $1.2 million to support Tower’s cancer research and patient support efforts.

The evening saw $800,000 in research grants awarded, including a $500,000 Senior Investigator Grant to explore a new immunotherapy-based therapeutic model for lung cancer.

Career Development Grants were also awarded to support young investigators exploring 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 patients.

Over the last 20 years, Tower has raised more than $30 million, Tower/’s Discovery Fund encourages the pursuit of high-risk, high-reward research projects by providing scientists with funding upfront, thereby removing barriers to entry. Tower believes that leading-edge and novel ideas may not yet qualify for traditional grant funding due to a lack of preliminary data. Tower has participated in funding more than 200 clinical trials.

Tower’s patient support division, Magnolia House, is an integrative survivorship wellness center with 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. 

•  Russell Kern.  founder/ president of KERN, an Omnicom multi-channel advertising agency is also the board chair of Beit T’Shuvah. After working at one of the top advertising agencies in New York City, Meryl Kern went on to open her own boutique agency. In September 2014, Meryl’ was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now cancer free, Meryl and Russell 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 rrology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Figlin has authored more than 350 peer reviewed articles, more than 70 book chapters, and has published as editor multiple books on kidney cancer. 
• Shelley Rosen has spent many years as a devoted member of the Magnolia Council in support of Tower. Jan Rosen is the owner of DL & Co., a home décor company. Jan 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.
Also at the dinner, Nancy Mishkin, TCRF board chair introduced Tower Incoming Board Chair Donna Rosen, who will assume the post next year.
Emcee for the evening was Rabbi Edward Feinstein, senior rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino.

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