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Four legendary LA BioMed physician-researchers honored

April 27, 2009

LOS ANGELES (April 27, 2009) - In recognition of their distinguished contributions to science, the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) will honor four of its legendary physician-scientists at its sixth annual "Legends" dinner celebration May 12 at Trump National Golf Club.

John R. Benfield, MD, David S. Cannom, MD, Larry J. Shapiro, MD, and Mark A. Sperling, MD, will be honored for their internationally recognized contributions to their fields through research and innovative clinical practice, as well as their significant contributions to LA BioMed. All are alumni of LA BioMed, one of the nation's largest independent nonprofit biomedical research institutes.

Gail V. Anderson, Jr., MD, MBA, will serve as master of ceremonies. Dr. Anderson is the chief medical officer at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, associate dean for the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a member of the LA BioMed Board of Directors.

"Legends 2009 will be a wonderful celebration of LA BioMed's internationally recognized alumni," said LA BioMed President and CEO Carole Wagner Vallianos Esq. "Drs. Benfield, Cannom, Shapiro and Sterling contributed greatly to the advancement of medicine and science through their research, their training of others and their treatment of patients. LA BioMed is honored to count each of these exceptional physicians among its alumni."

The winner of the Liu Young Investigator Award, sponsored by Patty Liu, also will be announced during the dinner. Kevin Bruhn, PhD, Maie St. John, MD, PhD, Atman Shah, MD, and Jennifer Yee, MD, are the nominees for the $10,000 award that seeks to nurture excellence and provide support for an outstanding young scientist conducting research on LA BioMed's campus.

The event begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by a dinner and ceremony at 7:30 p.m. For more information and for tickets, please contact Lisa Bosnich in the Office of Institutional Advancement, 310.222.4240, or email her at lbosnich@LABioMed.org.

The 2009 Legends

Dr. Benfield

At Harbor-UCLA Medical Center from 1967-1977, Dr. Benfield was a leader in lung transplantation research. While there, he received the 1971 Golden Apple Award for outstanding teaching at UCLA's medical school. His laboratory also created lung cancer models for following the cellular changes from normal to invasive and metastatic cancers.

In 1977, Benfield became the James Utley Professor and Chairman of Surgery at Boston University. A year later, he returned to Los Angeles to serve as a UCLA clinical professor and chairman of the Division of Surgery at the City of Hope, where he founded the National Institutes of Health-funded surgical oncology fellowship.

In 1988, Benfield built a new Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery as professor at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. The UCD Thoracic Surgery Residency continues.

In 1999, Benfield was elected an honorary member of the European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery. His Honored Guest Address, The Language of Science, initiated his current work in English for Medical Purposes.

Benfield's accomplishments include service as a Director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, and presidencies of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education, the Thoracic Surgery Directors Association and the Western Thoracic Surgical Association. Benfield continues to teach as UCLA professor of surgery emeritus and lives in West Los Angeles.

Dr. Cannom

Dr. Cannom is a clinical professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and, for 20 years, has been medical director of cardiology at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. He is also the founder and managing partner of Los Angeles Cardiology Associates.

Dr. Cannom has twice received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Department of Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, as well as a special award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the Cardiology Training Programs at the medical center and Good Samaritan Hospital. He has also received the American Heart Association's Distinguished Service Award, its Heart of Gold Award and the Eugene Drake MD Award.

For his service to the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology (now called the Heart Rhythm Society), he received the prestigious President's Award in 2001. He also received the Mirowski Award at the Heart Rhythm Society Scientific Session in 2005 which recognizes those individuals who have made vital contributions to the understanding of cardiac rhythm disturbances and sudden cardiac death.

Dr. Cannom was the recipient of the Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Staff's Physician of the Year Award in 2005. He also is the author or coauthor of more than 250 journal articles, book chapters and abstracts. He is married to Dr. Phyllis Monroe and lives in Rolling Hills.

Dr. Shapiro

An internationally renowned research geneticist and pediatrician, Dr. Shapiro is the executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, as well as the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor.

Throughout the span of his medical career, Dr. Shapiro has been internationally recognized for his significant research in human genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry. His contributions to academic medicine include patient care, research, teaching and administration. Dr. Shapiro is a member of the Council of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Shapiro joined the faculty at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in the Division of Medical Genetics in 1975. He served as the director of the Genetic Metabolic Laboratory and later became chief of the Division of Medical Genetics. During his years at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Shapiro was also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Dr. Shapiro is a member of many professional societies and has served as president of the American Society of Human Genetics, the American Board of Medical Genetics, the Society for Inherited Metabolic Diseases, the Western Society for Pediatric Research, the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society. Dr. Shapiro is married to Carol-Ann Uetake and lives in St. Louis.

Dr. Sperling

Dr. Sperling is professor and chair emeritus of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine and a member of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism in the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

From 1970-78, he served as assistant and associate professor of pediatrics at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, the last three years as chief of pediatric endocrinology. He moved to Cincinnati Children's Medical Center in 1978 as chief of pediatric endocrinology, professor of pediatrics and associate professor of medicine. He was appointed vice chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Cincinnati and eventually assumed the chairmanship of the Department of Pediatrics in Pittsburgh, a position he held until 1999.

Dr. Sperling's research interests have focused on the hormonal regulation of carbohydrate metabolism in the fetus, newborn and child. This has allowed him to remain broadly interested in all aspects of pediatric endocrinology and reproductive endocrinology in health and disease with emphasis on hypoglycemic syndromes and diabetes mellitus with recent focus on neonatal diabetes and the Mody Syndromes. He has had continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1972, also holding grants from the American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Dr. Sperling has published more than 140 peer-reviewed manuscripts in various journals and over 80 book chapters, reviews and editorials. He served as President of the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society and served on the National Diabetes Advisory Board of the National Institutes of Health. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA.
-end-
About LA BioMed

LA BioMed at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center is one of the country's largest nonprofit independent biomedical research institutes. It conducts biomedical research, trains young scientists and provides community services, including childhood immunization and nutrition assistance. The institute's researchers conduct studies in such areas as cardiovascular disease, emerging infections, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, dermatology, reproductive health, vaccine development, respiratory disorders, inherited illnesses and neonatology. LA BioMed is academically affiliated with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. For more information, please visit our website at www.LABioMed.org

LA BioMed

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