Monday, September 19, 2011
On Sunday, September 18, 2011, more than 130 guests gathered at the new Rooftop Olive Room restaurant at the Inn at the Black Olive in downtown Baltimore to enjoy a sold-out evening of fine food and networking. Proceeds from ticket sales and the silent & live auctions at the event will support stem cell research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, directed by Curt Civin, MD.
"For me, stem cell research is the greatest challenge in science, with the greatest likely payoff in medicine," said Dr. Civin. "The big scientific questions are: ‘How does one cell develop into every system, organ, tissue and cell in our entire bodies?’ ‘What are the exact molecular processes by which a cell “decides” to give rise to more stem cells, to become one type of cell or another, or to stop growing once an organ is perfectly formed?’And from this knowledge, how can we as physicians wake up sleeping stem cells to grow a new organ, or to heal, say a spinal cord injury or a heart attack? How can we reverse or prevent the ‘errors’ made by stem cells that result in devastating diseases like Cancers, Parkinsons, Diabetes, Alzheimers, and many, many others?"
Events such as this benefit are helping fund the science that is looking to answer those questions. "There is a new energy in Maryland," Dr. Civin told the crowd. "On the western edge of Baltimore’s downtown, the University of Maryland campus of seven professional schools, a medical center and health system, and a Biopark are collaborating on a rapidly growing quest for discoveries in stem cell research that will lead to wondrous innovations in regenerative medicine."
As they raised nearly $140,000 for critical stem cell research, guests enjoyed spectacular views of the Inner Harbor from the Olive Room’s terrace. Along with Dr. Civin, the evening's speakers included Stelios Spiliadis, owner of the Black Olive, and MB Lancaster, a cancer survivor and former patient of Dr. Civin. TV personality Marty Bass, from WJZ-TV Channel 13, introduced auctioneer Paul Cooper, who led competitive bidding for items that included a private shooting lesson with author Tom Clancy.
The event was hosted by The Black Olive, who donated all venue and catering costs, so that 100% of the evening's proceeds would go to the Stem Cell Center. Premier event benefactors were; Drs. Ellen and Bruce Taylor, and Wexford Science & Technology, LLC. Event benefactors were; Mr. David R. Epstein & Mrs. Betsy Banks Epstein; Mr. and Mrs. Robert and Susan Hallenbeck; Mr. Richard Himelfarb; and Paragon Bioservices, Inc.
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