Showing Up For Science: Highlights of the NYSCF Gala

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On October 5th, celebrities, scientists, and supporters ‘showed up for science’ at the The 2021 New York Stem Cell Foundation Gala. Hosted by CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta, MD, and directed by Tony Nominee Scott Ellis, the Gala featured the latest updates and breakthroughs in stem cell research, bringing the world of the NYSCF Research Institute laboratories to life via a multi-platform digital experience.

“As we’ve seen throughout this past year and a half, the pursuit and success of cutting edge medical research is ubiquitously urgent for the entire world,” remarked Dr. Gupta. “And as we continue to navigate this pandemic, science offers us so much hope for tackling so many of today’s challenges as well as the unknowns of tomorrow: not just COVID-19, but all of the diseases that affect us and our loved ones.”

“Thank you for joining us as we explore how NYSCF is using stem cells for better understanding of diseases, for discovering new and better drugs, and for developing new technologies like automated robotics and harnessing artificial intelligence to accelerate research toward better treatments and cures for some of the most devastating diseases of our time.”

The one-hour program highlighted NYSCF Research Institute scientists, a star line-up of talented guests, and this year’s honorees – 2021 NYSCF Stem Cell Heroes: award winning actor Victor Garber, for his diabetes and Alzheimer’s patient advocacy, Susan and Stephen Scherr, for their longstanding leadership and support of NYSCF, and five COVID-19 Vaccine Heroes: Drs. Derrick Rossi, Kizzmekia Corbett, Barney Graham, Katalin Karikó, and Drew Weissman, for their critical research that led to the development of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Watch the full program to see:

  • Actress Jane Krakowski discussing the basics of stem cells and how they are being used to treat age-related blindness with NYSCF’s Scott Noggle, PhD
  • Emmy and Tony Award winning actor Tony Shalhoub in conversation with NYSCF’s Valentina Fossati, PhD, about new cutting-edge research on multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Tony Award winning actors Santino Fontana and Annaleigh Ashford discussing NYSCF’s robotics, computer engineering, and automated technologies for making stem cells. 
  • Actor Bob Balaban in conversation with NYSCF’s Daniel Paull, PhD, on how machine learning and robotics combined with stem cell research is enabling new and better approaches for Parkinson’s disease, rare childhood disorders, and many other devastating diseases.
  • Actor and director Jesse Williams in conversation with NYSCF’s Laura Andres-Martin, PhD, on using stem cells to develop new approaches to research, testing, and treatment for women’s reproductive cancers.

The program also includes special appearances by Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Anthony Fauci, MD, and actors, Broadway performers, and media personalities Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Garner, Bradley Cooper, Nathan Lane, Sean Hayes, Alec Baldwin, and Martha Stewart.