Hillman Cancer Center Gala Celebrates A Future Without Cancer


Broadway and film stars Christine Ebersole and Brian Stokes Mitchell and Tony award winner Michele Pawk joined the region’s most influential community and civic leaders and 800 other guests at a gala last night, raising over $3 million for cancer research and clinical care at the Hillman Cancer Center, the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) and UPMC Cancer Centers. The event, A Future Without Cancer, was held at the Consol Energy Center.

Proceeds from this year’s gala will support personalized medicine research focusing on the development of treatments for all types and stages of cancer, with an emphasis on “personalizing” cancer care to ensure each patient receives the prevention, detection and treatment strategies most appropriate to him or her. These approaches will be as tailored as possible to suit each individual.

“Year after year the support we receive astounds and inspires me,” said Nancy E. Davidson, M.D., director of UPC I and UPMC Cancer Centers. “Despite our country’s continued economic struggles , our supporters continue to come out each year and help us continue our quest for a cancer-free future. The gala last night was a wonderful chance to celebrate, and the funds we raised will help advance our basic science, expand our translational research program and continue our foci on women’s cancers, cancer and aging, and expanding our prevention and control work.”

In addition to raising money for innovative cancer research and treatment, last night’s gala also recognized the next generation of cancer researchers with the introduction of the PNC/UPCI Director’s Distinguished Scholar Award. Kara Bernstein, Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics, received the award for her research into DNA repair.

Gala leadership and supporters of UPCI and UPMC Cancer Centers included honorary chairs Henry and Elsie Hillman and Sy and Cathy Holzer; gala chairs Vanessa and David Morehouse and Becky and John Surma, presenting sponsor The PNC Financial Services Group and other donors.