LOS ANGELES, April 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Leaders in entertainment, politics, business and medicine will attend Tower Cancer Research Foundation's (TCRF) Tower of Hope Gala on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 to honor Kenneth Adashek, MD, James Belardi, Chairman & CEO of Athene Asset Management LLC and Athene Holding Ltd., and Skechers USA, Inc., the lifestyle footwear company. Over $2 million in research grants will be awarded at the Gala, including a $1 million Discovery Fund grant to create an innovative mesothelioma study in Southern California. The event will begin at 6:30 PM at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, 9876 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California.
TCRF's Discovery Fund, a new initiative for the foundation, encourages the pursuit of high-risk, high-reward research projects by providing scientists with funding upfront, thereby removing barriers to entry. TCRF believes that leading-edge and novel ideas may not yet qualify for traditional grant funding due to a lack of preliminary data. TCRF's Discovery Fund's inaugural grantee, the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, will create a front-line research team, who will collaborate across disciplines to investigate how mesothelioma begins, how it grows, and how to halt its progression. Team members will conduct research that spans the continuum - from novel laboratory explorations to translational experiments to clinical trials that test the safety and efficacy of new interventions for the prevention and treatment of the disease in humans. Clinical scientists and basic scientists will submit proposals and, after a rigorous peer-review process by the multidisciplinary committee, a winning project(s) will be selected.
Career Development Grants will also be announced to fund the study of targeted therapies and immunotherapies for advanced prostate cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, and melanoma. In addition, two Senior Investigator Grants will be designated for novel bio-medical research in the field of breast cancer.
The evening is designed to bring attention to and raise funding for TCRF, a specialized donor-directed cancer research foundation focused on Southern California.
TCRF has been the Southern California cancer patient's greatest ally since 1996. TCRF is known for its stellar reputation professionally vetting cancer research programs and maximizing the impact of donor-investors. The foundation, which is focused on Southern California, provides grants for clinical trials, innovative cancer research, caring patient support and community education. TCRF's vanguard patient support services include patient mentoring, cancer support groups, classes and workshops and support for caregivers. In line with its mission to advance cancer research on every level, TCRF supports forward-thinking and talented physician scientists with awards of annual grants to those doing cutting edge bench-to-bedside lab research.
TCRF's demonstrated commitment to both the Southern California community and to nurturing high-impact local cancer research talent inspired Adashek, Belardi and Skechers to step forward as this year's honorees.
Kenneth W. Adashek, M.D is an attending surgeon at the Saul and Joyce Brandman Breast Center where he was a founding co-director, and at the Cedars-Sinai Thyroid Cancer Center, where he is the Consultant in Endocrine Surgery for the Department of Surgery. James R. Belardi is Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Athene Holding Ltd. (AHL) and Athene Asset Management, L.P. (AAM). AHL is a $60 billion insurance holding company whose business is primarily issuing and reinsuring retirement savings products, including fixed annuities. Prior to founding AHL and AAM, Jim was President of SunAmerica Life Insurance Company and Chief Investment Officer of AIG Retirement Services, Inc., responsible for a $250 billion invested asset portfolio. Skechers is a twobillion dollar global leader in the footwear industry, designing, developing and marketing more than 3000 styles for men, women and children. Since its 1992 launch, Skechers has proudly participated as an active member of the community, supporting global concerns, including breast cancer awareness, as well as the Manhattan Beach town it calls home. One of Skechers' philanthropic initiatives, the BOBS from Skechers charity program, was launched in 2011 to help children in need. Since then, the company has donated more than 11 million pairs of new shoes to boys and girls in the United States and over 30 countries around the globe.
ABOUT TOWER CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATION Founded in 1996 and primarily focused on Southern California, TCRF provides grants for innovative research, caring patient support and community education to promote more effective treatments for cancer. As a leading donor-directed, specialized cancer research foundation in Southern California, TCRF has raised over $25 million in the last decade. These resources have funded specific programs that are professionally vetted by committees comprised of local scientific and community leaders. In addition, TCRF awards several $100,000 grants annually to young pioneering physician scientists engaged in groundbreaking bench-to-bedside research. While there are many brilliant scientists performing cancer research, TCRF recognizes the importance of nurturing the local pool of rich research talent because important breakthroughs have come from unexpected directions and provided new perspectives. www.towercancer.org
Contact: Rachel Schwartz/PR AdvantEDGE, Inc.
SOURCE Tower Cancer Research Foundation