President Biden-Appointed Chair of National Cancer Advisory Board & Leader in Cancer Health Disparities Science, Dr. John Carpten, Noted Philanthropist-Leader & Artist Nancy Mishkin & Tower’s Cancer Free Generation Founding Members Drs. Ghazal and Sepehr Rokhsar to be honored by Tower Cancer Research Foundation at Beverly Hills Gala on May 12th, 2022

LOS ANGELES, May 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Leaders in medicine, politics, philanthropy and business will gather at Tower Cancer Research Foundation’s 20th Annual Tower of Hope Gala on Thursday, May 12, 2022 to honor Dr. John Carpten, Nancy Mishkin, and Drs. Ghazal and Sepehr Rokhsar for their dedication to ending cancer and their ongoing commitment to raising awareness about this disease and its impact. The event begins at 6:00 PM at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, 9876 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California.

Tower Cancer Research Foundation (TCRF) advances groundbreaking research and funds essential support for people affected by cancer through local community partnerships and Magnolia House, its flagship survivorship support program. This year’s distinguished honorees are committed to fighting for a cancer free future and improving the lives of those effected by the disease, no matter who they are or where they live.

Dr. John Carpten is Professor and Chair for the Department of Translational Genomics, and Director of the Institute for Translational Genomics at Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. The world-renowned geneticist and cancer researcher was appointed by President Joe Biden to serve as National Cancer Advisory Board Chair, making history as the first African American to serve in this eminent post. Dr Carpten hopes that his efforts will lead to improvements in cancer management and outcomes for all patients. Dr. Carpten received his PhD in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from the Ohio State University. Prior to joining USC, Dr. Carpten was Professor and Deputy Director of Basic Sciences at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, AZ. Dr. Carpten’s expertise spans a broad range of research disciplines including germline genetics, tumor profiling, cancer cell biology, functional genomics, and health disparities. The primary goal of Dr. Carpten’s research program is to discover molecular alterations in cancer and to translate these findings into new approaches for prevention, diagnosis and treatment. His program is actively involved in the development and application of cutting-edge technologies and novel bioinformatics approaches for discovery research. Dr. Carpten has an intense focus on understanding the role of biology in cancer health disparities. Through his leadership, the African American Hereditary Prostate Cancer Study (AAHPC) Network was conceived and has become a model for genetic studies in underrepresented populations. His work has impacted our understanding of a variety of cancer types that disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minorities including prostate, breast, colon and brain cancer, multiple myeloma, and pediatric cancers. Dr. Carpten has co-authored 190 publications in scientific journals including Science, Nature, Nature Genetics, Cancer Cell, Cancer Research, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Nancy Mishkin began studying sculpting in the late 1980s and her work is now frequently commissioned by individuals and foundations throughout Southern California. When not busy in her studio, Mishkin is devoted to giving back to the community. The daughter of Holocaust survivors, Mishkin’s philanthropy started with fundraising for asthma research. Later she created a bronze sculpture for the Children’s Burn Foundation and joined its council. Mishkin then gifted a sculpture to Sonance, a group supporting the House Ear Institute, where she remains an active member and has helped fundraise to provide cochlear implants for hearing-impaired children. She is also a previous board member for the Blue-Ribbon Music Center, served as Board Chairman for Beit T’Shuvah, and is also a past president of the Diadames, which funds educational scholarships. A breast cancer survivor, Mishkin is the Founder and an active member of TCRF’s The Magnolia Council, which was built on Mishkin’s vision to bring together like minded women in a spirit of friendship, fun and philanthropy. She was also instrumental in the development of TCRF’s Community Partner Grants to expand TCRF’s support for people of all backgrounds affected by cancer. She is currently a member of the TCRF Board of Directors and was previously Chair of the Board. Mishkin has two children and five delightful grandchildren.

Drs. Ghazal and Sepehr Rokhsar are founding members of TCRF’s auxiliary funding group Cancer Free Generation (CFG). This group of influential professionals works to promote awareness and raise funds for TCRF’s young investigator grants and community partnership programs throughout Southern California. CFG’s goal is to help ensure that the next generation becomes the first cancer free generation. A General and Pediatric Dentist for the last 12 years, Dr. Ghazal Rokhsar takes a special interest in the work she does for the Reachout America Big Smiles Program providing dental care to kids in underserved areas throughout LAUSD. Dr. Sepehr Rokhsar holds double-board certification in Medical Oncology and Hematology and is Clinical Chair for the Division of Medical Oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. His particular interests are the treatment of hematologic malignancies, lung cancer, and gastrointestinal cancers, and he is involved as a co-investigator on a multitude of clinical trials exploring novel agents and their management. At 9 and 8 years old, Drs. Rokhsar’s two oldest sons were the top fundraisers at CFG’s "Move Over Cancer" event, raising nearly $10K. They continue to donate 50% of their bracelet business proceeds to TCRF.

In the last decade alone, TCRF has raised over $30 million to support a multitude of scientific grants from one-year $100,000 Career Development Grants to five year $500,000 Senior Investigator Grants to $1 million Multi-disciplinary Discovery Funds. TCRF’s initial $4 million investment in its 54 Career Development grantees has led to over $60 million in additional cancer research funding to these grantees from other institutions. TCRF’s Discovery Fund encourages the pursuit of high-risk, high-reward research projects by providing scientists with funding upfront in the belief that leading-edge and novel ideas may not yet qualify for traditional grant funding due to a lack of preliminary data.

TCRF’s Magnolia House provides hundreds of free fitness, therapeutic, and holistic classes, both in-person and online, to cancer patients and survivors, no matter where treatment was received. In 2021 alone, Magnolia House supported over 19,000 patient visits. Magnolia House’s integrative health and wellness support and education programs are designed to empower people to develop a physical and emotional toolkit to meet the challenges of cancer— from diagnosis to survivorship.

In the last decade, TCRF has committed $2.7 million to fund community partners‘ vital programs for underserved populations throughout Los Angeles, including projects at Women of Color Breast Cancer Survivors’ Support Project, Vietnamese American Cancer Foundation, Project Angel Food, CHLA, Bet Tzedek, LAC-USC, UCLA Simms Mann, Camp Kesem, among many others. These programs have addressed everything from basic nutrition and young adult camps to pediatric palliative care and patient navigation, supporting underserved and underrepresented individuals, families, and communities.

Gala tickets available online or by calling 310.299.8470.

Media RSVP and Talent Inquiries:

ABOUT TOWER CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATION (TCRF): TCRF was established in 1996 by a driven group of physicians, patients, and volunteers with a personal stake in cancer to fund high impact research and survivorship support programs. Today, TCRF continues to advance groundbreaking science and fund essential support for people affected by cancer through local community partnerships and Magnolia House, its survivorship support program. In the last decade, TCRF has raised over $30 million in support of these goals. Through local investments in Southern California, it funds innovative researchers, making them a launchpad for additional funding and discoveries here and on the global stage. TCRF’s programs are designed to maximize impact beyond the initial investment, benefitting researchers, patients and families today, with the potential to lead to even greater impact tomorrow.

Contact: Rachel Schwartz/PR AdvantEDGE Inc.
[email protected]

SOURCE Tower Cancer Research Foundation