Spectacular 2017 SBP annual Gala celebrates “Sights Set on Discovery”

| Written by Helen Hwang
Kristiina Vuori, Debby Turner, T. Denny Sanford, Roberta Burnham, Jeanne Herberger, Malin Burnham, Hank and Robin Nordhoff

Friends and supporters of Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) gathered under the stars on Harbor Island in downtown San Diego for our spectacular Annual Gala, themed “Sights Set on Discovery.” Raising money to advance biomedical research inspired a warm, jubilant evening as guests celebrated SBP’s many scientific accomplishments. 

In a unique setting, supporters enjoyed a jazz trio in an outdoor reception on a glittering barge on the water. Then, guests moved inside to an elegant ballroom for the program. Guests included the Institute’s namesakes T. Denny Sanford and Malin Burnham.

SBP President Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D. kicked off the program with an inspirational speech about SBP’s reputation as a global leading research Institute. She also honored the outstanding career of one of SBP’s longest-serving scientists José Luis Millán, Ph.D., whose research on calcification is leading to therapies for heart disease, kidney failure and other devastating disorders. His work resulted in the discovery of a new drug at our own on-site Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics and is now being tested in humans.

Three of SBP’s preeminent scientists spoke about how philanthropy bridges the gap between basic biomedical research, drug discovery and patient therapeutics.

The researchers introduced a touching video about how their own personal experiences—whether as patients themselves or first-hand witnesses to the devastating effect on loved ones—drives them to work tirelessly on the research they do at SBP. Guests then raised their paddle for a successful Fund-A-Need.

Following the dinner, the party continued on the outdoor patio, boogying to music from The Mighty Untouchables.

The Gala raised around $500,000 for biomedical research. SBP guests had a marvelous time, dancing under the stars and raising money for a noble cause—to “transform the future of human health,” as Dr. Vuori put it.

Click the SBP Facebook album to see photos from the event.  

Click on the SBP YouTube channel to see the touching video guests watched at the Annual Gala.

If you would like to donate to SBP, click Donate now

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