Nancy and Jonathan Glaser know that great challenges require great commitments. When their daughter Aerin was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, they devoted themselves to finding her the best care possible — and are working to extend research knowledge and clinical care to other families facing sarcoma.
The Glasers made a generous gift to establish an endowed chair focused on the study of pediatric sarcomas. This rare type of tumor accounts for roughly 10% of childhood solid tumors. Their gift ensures that UCLA pediatric oncology experts will continue to be at the forefront of care and research in this area.
“An endowed chair is among the highest honors a faculty member can receive,” said Dr. Steven Dubinett, dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “It symbolizes a shared commitment to progress. Researchers need both consistency and flexibility in funding. I am very grateful to the Glaser family for their generosity to this cause and for this investment in the well-being of patients.”
A Comprehensive Approach to Care
Dr. Noah Federman, a UCLA oncologist who focuses on treating children, teens and young adults with sarcoma, is the inaugural holder of UCLA’s Nancy and Jonathan Glaser Family Endowed Chair for Pediatric Sarcomas.
As founder and director of the Pediatric Bone & Soft Tissue Sarcoma Center at UCLA and a member of the UCLA Sarcoma Program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Federman brings together specialists from many fields to provide care to patients and their families. Treating more than 200 new patients each year, the team includes pediatric, medical and radiation oncologists; surgeons; radiologists and pathologists; nuclear medicine specialists; physical therapists; and prosthetic specialists.
“Nancy and I know that philanthropic support is vital to UCLA’s innovative excellence, and we are delighted that Dr. Federman has been chosen as the inaugural chair holder. He embodies the very best in research and training, and is an extraordinary physician and human being,” said Jon Glaser.
Finding the Treatments of the Future
The Glasers’ gift, which creates a research fund as well as the endowed chair, will support investigation into how sarcomas develop. In addition, it will provide for clinical trials in pediatric sarcomas and the testing of possible new therapies — including drugs that attack cancers while avoiding healthy cells.
“Improving the outcomes for children and young adults afflicted with sarcomas is my life’s work,” said Dr. Federman. “This is an amazing vote of confidence. It is empowering.”
About the Glasers
The Glasers have long been dedicated members of the UCLA Health family. Nancy Glaser, a psychiatrist, is the founding chair and a current member of the Board of Advisors for the UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, and a board member of both the Friends of Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. Jon Glaser, an investment professional, is a member of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Board of Advisors.
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Published April 2023