At its most successful gala ever, the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) raised more than $1 million to support its groundbreaking research at an event honoring one of the region’s leading businessmen and philanthropists, Ralph Scriba, of Palos Verdes Estates, with its Award for Community Service, and one of its most distinguished researchers, Kouichi R. “Corky” Tanaka, MD, of Rancho Palos Verdes, with its Award for Inspirational Leadership.
The Translating Science and Transforming Lives Gala on Dec. 5 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel also honored Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, one of the preeminent scientific and medical minds in the world today, with the Award for Advancing Innovations.“We thank our donors for their generosity and for demonstrating the support LA BioMed and its innovative research enjoy in the community and around the world,” said David I. Meyer, PhD., LA BioMed president and CEO. “We extend a special thank you to Dr. Soon-Shiong, Mr. Scriba and Dr. Tanaka for their dedication to LA BioMed and its mission of translating science and transforming lives.”
Mr. Scriba, in accepting his award, said he supports LA BioMed because of its outstanding research, calling it the “gift that keeps on giving…LA BioMed is a marvelous organization that is going to be helping people long after I am gone.” Mr. Scriba has devoted his life to philanthropy through the Ralph Scriba Family Foundation, which made the first-ever $1 million gift to LA BioMed.
Dr. Tanaka, an LA BioMed Legend in whose name the KR. Tanaka MD Endowed Chair of Medicine was created, said his award was a “tribute to all the of the great people I have had the privilege of working with at LA BioMed and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center for the last 52 years.”
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas introduced Dr. Soon-Shiong at the gala, singling him out for his brilliance, his generosity and his dedication to ending the disparities in medical care from South Africa to south Los Angeles.
Dr. Soon-Shiong said LA BioMed’s commitment to translating science and transforming lives is “something we really, really must support.” He praised the research institute as a leader in the battle to end the disparities in health care and in helping “young people pursue their dreams.”
As a young investigator, he said he saw that firsthand in the support he received from LA BioMed Legend John Benfield, MD. He said Dr. Benfield’s advocacy for his early research paved the way for his discovery of the revolutionary treatment technologies that led to his founding of Abraxis Bioscience.Dr. Meyer thanked the Development Department for its hard work, the honorees for giving of their time and resources, the researchers for their transformational research and the generous donors for providing the funding that helps make the research possible.
“Transformational research begins with financial support and, now, more than ever, that support must come from donations,” said Rodney D. Franks, LA BioMed vice president for development. “Only through the support of our donors are we able to continue to translate science and transform lives in Los Angeles and around the world.”