NYU Langone Medical Center raised $7 million at its annual Violet Ball, held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue in New York City on the evening of May 16. Paolo Fresco, former chairman of Fiat and former executive vice chairman at General Electric, was honored at the event for his visionary leadership in establishing NYU Langone’s Marlene and Paolo Fresco Institute for Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders in the fall of 2015.
Proceeds raised at the gala will be used to attract and retain brilliant young minds through scholarships, advance the medical center’s bold vision, and strengthen the medical center’s role as a resource for the diverse communities of New York and beyond.
Addressing an audience of over 450 guests, Robert I. Grossman, MD, the Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO of NYU Langone Medical Center said, “Paolo Fresco is a man who has gone above and beyond to ensure that our past will be prologue to the extraordinary.”
Mr. Fresco is committed to promoting excellence in patient care, education, and scientific discovery for Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders here in the United States—at the Fresco Institute headquarters in New York City—and in his native Italy. Through a first-of-its-kind collaboration with the Neuroscience Institute at NYU Langone and the clinical and scientific community in Italy, the Fresco Institute is promoting international scientific collaboration to improve treatments and find cures.
The Fresco Institute has made significant progress towards its goal of becoming the world’s top Parkinson’s and movement disorders institution, including:
- The recruitment of prominent young basic scientist Nicolas Tritsch, PhD, to the Neuroscience Institute at NYU Langone. Dr. Tritsch is working to identify novel Parkinson’s treatments through the study of the functional organization of neural circuits that orchestrate voluntary motor actions.
- The launch in the summer of 2016 of the Fresco Institute’s Network of Excellence that will award collaborative grants to up to four Parkinson’s and movement disorders centers throughout Italy, with a goal of fostering international clinical and scientific collaboration.
- The launch in the summer of 2016 of a unique fellowship program for up to four young Italian clinicians and researchers to train with the teams at the Fresco Institute and the Neuroscience Institute at NYU Langone.
- A recently-finalized collaboration with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to launch its highly regarded Fox Trial Finder program at the Fresco Institute’s Fresco Network of Excellence in Italy.
“I am incredibly honored to be here tonight,” said Mr. Fresco, who has been a trustee of NYU Langone since 2013. “But more importantly, I am excited for the great advances the Fresco Institute will make as a result of our growing international program. My hope is that this initiative will continue on indefinitely, helping those who suffer from movement disorders.”
Underwriting support for this year’s Violet Ball was provided by Nancy and Arthur Calcagnini, Lisa Pevaroff-Cohn and Gary Cohn, Lori and Laurence D. Fink, Elaine and Ken Langone, chair of NYU Langone’s Board of Trustees, and the Tisch family. Mr. Langone also served as Gala Chair, and Dr. Grossman was the Gala Physician Committee Chair.
Guests included Nancy and Larry Bossidy, Marjorie and Walter Buckley, Barbara and David Calhoun, Elisabeth J. Cohen, MD, Isabel and Francesco Genuardi, Trudy Elbaum Gottesman and Robert Gottesman, Sheree and Marc Holliday, Julia Koch, Ofer Nemirovsky, Laurie Perlmutter, Klara and Larry Silverstein, Leonard Tow, Gwen Towns and former Rep. Ed Towns, Patty Newburger and Bradley Wechsler, Suzy and Jack Welch, and Beatrice and Anthony Welters.
Deborah (DJ) Haffeman