Honoring LA's innovative cancer researchers

city-of-hope-beckman.jpgLast night, 13 scientists from the City of Hope, UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and USC's Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center were recognized as recipients of $1.4 million in annual grants from STOP CANCER. The nonprofit celebrated promising cancer research with a swanky dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills (where the sidewalk adjacent to the valet station features a box offering maps to movie stars' homes).

Like a science fair, many of the researchers explained their work in displays we lesser creatures pretended to understand. But even if some of the science was elusive to the 275 attendees, other messages were crystal clear:

"We spend more on potato chips than cancer research." -- Dr. David B. Agus, author of "A Short Guide to a Long Life"
"City of Hope doesn't have a football team like USC and UCLA, but we do have a pointillistic super-resolution microscope." -- Dr. David Horne, interim director, Beckman Research Institute
"I applied to film school and medical school at the same time. I didn't get into film school. Thoughts of coming to L.A. to receive an award disappeared." -- Dr. Akil A. Merchant, awardee, who studies why certain types of leukemia be cured with chemotherapy while others are resistant.

Photo: City of Hope's Beckman Research Institute

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