NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - October 16, 2013) - The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF) today announced its dedication of $45 million to breast cancer research at its annual Symposium and Awards Luncheon yesterday. The 2013-2014 grants, awarded to 207 doctors and scientists, build on the foundation's 20-year commitment to advance the world's most innovative research and address such critical areas as genetics, immunotherapy, tumor biology, quality of life and metastasis.
BCRF Scientific Director Dr. Larry Norton and Dr. Clifford Hudis, Chairman of BCRF's Scientific Advisory Board and President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, moderated the Symposium, titled "You Are Living in the Renaissance of Medical Science." The two doctors were joined by BCRF researchers Robert Vonderheide, MD, D.Phil (University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center), Nancy Davidson, MD (University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute) and Titia de Lange, PhD (The Rockefeller University), who discussed a number of topics including the genetic connections between cancers and immunotherapy as a means of vaccinating breast cancer. During the Symposium, many of the world's cancer experts who are also BCRF grantees, such as Mary-Claire King, PhD (University of Washington) and Funmi Olopade, MD, FACP (University of Chicago Medical Center), spoke openly with the audience about everything from BRCA gene mutations to obesity's role in increased breast cancer risk.
After the Symposium, more than 165 BCRF researchers joined 1,000-plus guests for the Awards Luncheon, which honored their work and paid tribute to two remarkable individuals. Longtime donor, Gail Siegal, received the Sandra Taub Humanitarian Award for her unending efforts to support lifesaving research. The Jill Rose Award for outstanding research excellence was presented to Dr. de Lange, who won the 2012 "Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences" established by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Sergey Brin, among others. Dr. de Lange was recognized for her groundbreaking contributions to research on telomeres (the protective ends of chromosomes) and their relationship to aging and the spread of breast cancer.
During her acceptance speech, Dr. de Lange talked about how BCRF was instrumental in getting her to focus on breast cancer. "This award is particularly important to me because it symbolizes what BCRF has done for me and my research. I will never turn away from this problem now. I will stick with the cancer problem and continue to work hard to better understand, treat, and prevent breast cancer in the future."
In addition to the grant awards, beloved BCRF board member and prominent New York philanthropist, Cynthia Lufkin, who passed away in July, was commemorated by longtime friend, Muffy Potter Aston, and through a moving performance by rising country singer and star of Lifetime TV's Chasing Nashville, Autumn Blair.
The annual Symposium and Awards Luncheon is BCRF's premier fundraiser, bringing together the leading minds in medical science with the philanthropic community dedicated to the fight against breast cancer. This year's event, which took place at the Waldorf Astoria, raised $2.1 million.
Event co-chairmen and notable guests included William Lauder, Tory Burch, Caryn Zucker, Gigi Mortimer, Clarissa Alcock Bronfman, Dan Lufkin, Anne H. Bass, Gail Hilson, Laura Lauder, Betsy S. Green, Arlene Taub, Rebecca Amon, Marjorie Reed Gordon, Ronnie F. Heyman, Wendi Rose, Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Jeanne Siegel, Adrienne Vittadini, Libby Pataki and Roz Goldstein.
Sponsors: Bloomberg, Condé Nast, Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO, Hazen Polsky Foundation, Alexandra Herzan, Kinga Lampert, Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation, Rolex Watch USA, and The Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation.
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About The Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Founded by Evelyn H. Lauder in 1993, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation has raised more than $450 million in the last 20 years to advance the world's most promising breast cancer research to achieve prevention and a cure in our lifetime. In October 2013, BCRF awarded $45 million to support the work of more than 200 researchers at major medical institutions across six continents. By spending 91 cents of every dollar on research and awareness programs, BCRF remains one of the nation's most fiscally responsible charities. It has earned four stars from Charity Navigator since 2002 and is the only breast cancer organization awarded an "A+" from CharityWatch. For more information, visit www.bcrfcure.org. To donate, go to donations.bcrfcure.org/donate-now.