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2014 NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center Gala Raises Over $1.7 Million for Patient Care, Research, Education, and Prevention

400 Guests Attend Event to Celebrate  Laura and Isaac Perlmutter and John Golfinos, MD

NYU Langone Medical Center raised over $1.7 million at its annual cancer center gala held Wednesday, October 22, at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. The event, attended by 400 guests, celebrated Laura and Isaac Perlmutter, long-time supporters of the Medical Center who made a gift of more than $50 million earlier this year to advance cancer research and treatment, and rename the NYU Cancer Institute - a National Cancer Institute–designated cancer center – the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center. The gala also honored John G. Golfinos, MD, associate professor and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, a dedicated specialist in brain cancer and neurosurgical procedures.

Each year, the gala is held to celebrate the dedication of its physicians, scientists, nurses, and other medical staff. Funds raised at the Perlmutter Cancer Center Gala will support the center’s continued excellence in patient care, research, education, and prevention.

Robert I. Grossman, MD, the Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO of NYU Langone Medical Center, acknowledged this year’s honorees, thanking them for their generous support, “As many of you know, John is an exceptional neurosurgeon who inspires instant trust—both in his patients, and in his colleagues across our Medical Center. He is a splendid mentor, and a caring physician. As chair, he has elevated our neurosurgery department to be among the top 10 in the United States” Dr. Grossman continued, “To Laurie and Ike, who have been great friends of the Medical Center for decades, we are incredibly grateful for your generosity and confidence.”

Dr. Grossman also announced the new director of the Perlmutter Cancer Center, Benjamin Neel, MD, PhD, effective January 2015. Dr. Neel succeeds William Carroll, MD, the Julie and Edward J. Minskoff Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics and professor, Department of Pathology, who will return to his clinical and laboratory research in childhood leukemia after leading the center for nearly seven years.

Those in attendance included: Phyllis Putter Barasch, Susan Block Casdin, Alex Casdin, Elisabeth Cohen, MD, Blair Effron, Lori and Larry Fink, Brian Friedman, Mindy and Jonathan Gray, Ken and Elaine Langone, Norma and Gordon Smith, Carla Solomon and Nino Magliocco, David Saltzman, Connie and Marty Silver, Robin Smith, MD, PhD, Debora and Jes Staley, and Thomas H. Lee.

Lori Fink, co-chair of the event, chair of the Perlmutter Cancer Center Advisory Board, and a trustee of NYU Langone, also greeted the audience and said, “I have the distinct pleasure of welcoming you to the first ever Perlmutter Cancer Center Gala! We are here today, in the same room with many of the same people, but everything is different. We’ve been striving toward an exhilarating future—and that future is now. Here we are, poised to leap forward, to become an international leader in cancer research, education, and care.”

Michael Novogratz, co-chair of the event and trustee, thanked NYU Langone’s community of donors and introduced his sister, Amy Novogratz, who shared her story of when she was diagnosed with a tumor the size of a golf ball in her right thalamus, an area of the brain that is considered extremely dangerous to operate on. After minor procedures failed to provide a long-term solution, Dr. Golfinos successfully performed a terrifying 18-hour surgery to remove the tumor, which has not yet returned four years post-surgery.

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