The Gray Gala

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Details for the Evening

Location: Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center
Boston, MA
Date: November 11, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM Reception
7:00 PM Dinner & Program
Emcee: Emily Riemer, WCVB NewsCenter 5 Anchor
  Emily Riemer, WCVB

As The Sparrow will generously be providing entertainment for the Gray Gala cocktail hour.

Live Auction Items

Community Leadership Award Recipients:

Volunteer of the Year: Steven Branfman

Steven Branfman

Advocate of the Year: Matt Hanson

Matt Hanson

Emerging Leader: Tara Mitchell

Tara Mitchell
Founder Award Recipients: 2016 Richard B. Ross Founder's Award for Pediatric Brain Tumor Research
  Suzanne Baker, PhD
  Suzanne Baker, PhD
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Dr. Suzanne Baker is Director, Brain Tumor Research Division; Co-Leader, Neurobiology & Brain Tumor Program; and Endowed Chair in Brain Tumor Research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She is a leader in the field of pediatric neuro-oncology, former Co-Chair of NBTS Scientific Advisory Committee, and a lead investigator in the National Brain Tumor Society’s upcoming Defeat Pediatric Brain Tumors Research Collaborative. At St Jude, she has directed her efforts towards understanding how disruption of key signaling pathways contributes to the development of high-grade gliomas, including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) in children.
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A generous grant from the National Brain Tumor Society helped to launch her research into DIPG, which suggested differences in the genetic changes driving DIPG compared to adult glioblastoma. This was confirmed when she co-discovered high-frequency histone H3 mutations in DIPG and pediatric glioblastoma. These were the first histone mutations identified in human cancer, yielding new insights into disease pathogenesis of these devastating childhood brain tumors, and opening a new avenue to study how chromatin regulation contributes to cancer. Additional unexpected mutations in pediatric brain tumors co-discovered by Baker’s group further demonstrate unique connections between development and cancer that are also a focus of her ongoing research.

Throughout her career, Dr. Baker has focused on identifying genetic alterations driving human cancer and determining their functional consequences. As a graduate student, she was the first to identify TP53 as the tumor suppressor gene targeted by mutation in tumors with chromosome 17p deletions. This discovery sparked an explosion of research onTP53, which is now known as the most commonly mutated gene in human cancer.

Additionally, in 2010, Suzanne Baker, PhD, and colleagues described a new paradigm they established as a systematic way to collect brain tumor tissue suitable for molecular analysis and applicable to children with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. When they evaluated the DNA and RNA integrity and found that most tumor samples collected were, indeed, suitable for genome-wide analysis. Previously, tumor samples had not been collected systematically for large cancer studies. Now, after analysis of these and other collected specimens, researchers have identified potential therapy targets, and opportunities exist to conduct studies using small molecule inhibitors.

Dr. Baker’s laboratory employs the latest technologies to identify the mutations that drive DIPG, and then incorporates the genomic discoveries into the design and analysis of relevant model systems for mechanistic studies and preclinical testing of new therapeutic agents.

  2016 Feldman Founder's Award for Adult Brain Tumor Research
  Webster Cavenee, PhD
  Webster Cavenee, PhD
Ludwig Cancer Research

Dr. Webster Cavenee is the Director, Strategic Alliances-CNS at Ludwig Cancer Research. Previously, Dr. Cavenee served as Director of Ludwig Cancer Research, San Diego and a Distinguished Professors at the University of California, San Diego, since 1991.
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Dr. Cavenee is a pioneer in our understanding of the role that hereditary predisposition plays in the development of cancer. His work on the genetic basis of cancer predisposition and progression comprises more than 370 publications and has been recognized with more than 100 honors and awards, most notably the Rhoads Award of American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the Charles S. Mott Prize of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation, and the Albert Szent Gyorgyi Award.

His research has evolved over the years to the interplay between oncogenic and suppressive mutations in the genesis and progression of human tumors, particularly those of the central nervous system, and their influence on therapeutic response. This work involves cellular genetics, engineered mouse models, protein biochemistry and tumor biology. Dr. Cavenee’s most recognized accomplishments are in the genetic basis of cancer predisposition, tumor progression, oncogenic cellular signaling and the use of genetic approaches for cancer diagnosis and prognosis.

His work in glioblastoma (GBM) research, including with the Defeat GBM Research Collaborative earned him AACR’s 2014 Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research.

Dr. Cavenee is an elected member/fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the Leopoldina German Academy of Science, the AACR Academy, the International Union Against Cancer, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the American Academy of Microbiology. He is on the editorial boards of several journals and has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, as well as numerous advisory boards for philanthropic foundations (including the National Brain Tumor Society and the Brain Tumor Funders Collaborative) and biotechnology companies. He has been President of the American Association for Cancer Research, and is a member of the Defeat GBM Strategic Scientific Advisory Committee.

Recently, Dr. Cavenee has been coordinating global efforts to translate the science in the field of brain tumors into better outcomes for patients. He is a co-investigator and executive committee member of GBM AGILE, a global, adaptive clinical trial.

Parking and Directions: The Gray Gala will be held on the upper level of the World Trade Center in the Harborview Ballroom, therefore we strongly encourage valet parking. Should you prefer to self-park, please find directions to the Seaport Hotel Garage here.

Hotel Info:
The following hotels are offering Gray Gala attendees a discounted rate - a limited number of rooms are available, so book before October 12th to guarantee your space.

Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center
Discounted Rate: $260/night
To make reservations, call 877-732-7678 and mention the National Brain Tumor Society room block for the Gray Gala

The Westin Boston Waterfront
Discounted Rate: $239/night
To make reservations, call 800-WESTIN-1 and mention the National Brain Tumor Society room block for the Gray Gala or book online.

The proceeds of this event will support the core programs of the National Brain Tumor Society for both adults and children.

For more information on the event or sponsorship, please contact:
Samantha Masterson
Chief Advancement Officer
t. 617.658.2832