A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE

Who We Are

Board of Governors Chapter
The Board of Governors (BOG) is an active group of leaders from business, public life and the community who raise funds for research at City of Hope to fight life-threatening diseases, like CANCER, HIV/AIDS and DIABETES. Our influence has been dramatic in underwriting innovative research activities and in accelerating new therapies. The BOG has raised millions of dollars with all proceeds directed to our mission.

In 2003, the BOG began funding specific projects at City of Hope, supporting various doctors and scientists in all areas of cancer research as well as HIV/AIDS.  Our focus is in basic research, providing much needed “seed money,” to allow promising new therapies to be developed prior to any grant money being available from the government or other sources.
The following reports illustrate the importance and effectiveness of our funding. We continue to support cutting edge basic research which enables doctors to prove their hypotheses sufficiently, thereby enabling them to apply for federal funding and move their research forward toward clinical trials with new therapeutics.

Join Us

Why should you join the Board of Governors? 
  • Because one of every two men and one of every three women will experience cancer in their lifetimes.
  • Because every family member and friend is affected when cancer strikes a loved one.
  • Because our members help advance crucial science from which tomorrow's cures may be derived.
  • Because when you donate through the Board of Governors, your donation goes directly to City of Hope to advance research and technology in specific areas of cancer and other life threatening diseases.
Membership Benefits
  • Receive a monthly online publication that will provide scientific and clinical updates in an easy-to-read manner through private e-mail.
  • Receive City News, a quarterly publication of City of Hope.
  • When in need, help friends and family to speed up access to City of Hope doctors and services.
  • Receive invitations to attend Board of Governors social and scientific programs featuring City of Hope physicians and scientists.
  • In addition to our six-times a year social functions we offer small gatherings to increase our scientific knowledge as well as build friendships and camaraderie to better achieve our goals.
  • Our members represent many areas of expertise, eg. law enforcement, identity theft, etc. and they share their knowledge to improve our lives.
Membership Responsibilities
  • Provide annual membership fee and other charitable donations in support of City of Hope's research activities.
  • Participate in our annual letter-writing campaign.
  • Serve as an ambassador for City of Hope and the Board of Governors.
  • Recruit new members to the Board of Governors.
The most important reason to join the Board of Governors
“There is no better feeling than hearing from cancer survivors in front o you, that your contribution saved their or their child’s life. Your chest fills with pride, and you know you have selected the best charity to support.  City of Hope is just an opportunity for you to be a part of leading-edge science as our scientists and doctors continue to discover the secrets of curing cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and other fatal diseases.” - Bob Marx

The Board of Governors is self-sustainining.  Membership is by invitation only.  For further information , please call 800-544-3541 ext 26375.
Join the Board of Governors
We invite you to become actively involved with the Board of Governors' exciting plans for the future. We support City of Hope's expansion of its current clinical research capabilities and the development of new disease-focused programs in basic and clinical science. Accelerating the pace of clinical study is intrinsically tied to supporting and expanding the institution's infrastructure. We invite you to help City of Hope advance its medical and scientific excellence as it develops powerful new treatments and therapeutics for patients everywhere.
In 2013 City of Hope celebrated its 100th anniversary and we look forward to your joining us in our support for an even more productive future.
Thank you for partnering with us to bring hope and solutions to millions worldwide.

Susanne Reyto, Chair
City of Hope’s Board of Governors
January 2013


Milestones of Accomplishments

Basic and Translational Science
Advancing new medical treatments and potential cures requires an investment in basic laboratory science and biological research. The Board of Governors (BOG) has supported two burgeoning scientific frontiers bearing great promise in the fight against cancer: immunotherapy and experimental therapeutics.
Immunotherapy harnesses the body's immune system to combat cancer, without the side effects associated with traditional treatments. With immunotherapy, our researchers' aim is to eliminate the need for chemo and radiation therapies altogether. The power and promise of this science is immense and the BOG stands as one of its earliest champions.

Experimental therapeutics involves testing cancer therapies at their earliest  stage of development and identifying new critical pathways for therapeutic intervention.
Equally important in developing a body of science is the recruitment of outstanding faculty to advance its progress. The BOG was instrumental in expanding City of Hope's immunotherapeutic and experimental therapeutic programs.

Hand in hand with science, critical infrastructure is needed to house and support research efforts, including new technology and specialized laboratories. The BOG has played a key role in funding and establishing the Clinical Immunobiology Correlative Studies Laboratory (CICSL), an essential lab that critically examines the effects of cancer immunotherapies in patients.
The BOG recognized the importance of the CICSL, renamed, The Adoptive Cell Immunotherapy Laboratory, and continues its support toward further discoveries.

Programs We Support

2003: Immunotherapy Focus on Brain Cancer
$150,000 - T-cell Therapy

T-cell therapy takes immune system cells from the patient and reprograms them through genetic engineering. The reprogrammed cells are then reintroduced into the patient's body. The expectation is that these T cells will kill only the tumor cells while leaving normal cells unharmed.

Our first Board of Governors grant provided the necessary funds for Michael Jensen, M.D., who is no longer at City of Hope, and Andrew Raubitschek, MD, chair of the Department of Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Tumor Immunology, to begin the first-in-human trial of reprogrammed T cells for glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Currently, the T-cell trials are ongoing and show great promise in facilitating a cure for this devastating cancer.

2004/2005: Infrastructure to Support Clini­cal Trials  
$500,000- Clinical lmmunobiology Correlative Studies Laboratory (CICSL)
$150,000 - Laboratory Specialist

In order to analyze the effectiveness of treatment during the clinical trials of glioblastoma patients, City of Hope needed a very sophisticated laboratory to investigate the precise and in-depth probing of a patient's immune system and responses during immunotherapy. Our grant established the Clinical Immunology Correlative Studies Laboratory (CICSL) with state-of-the-art equipment designed to do this precise analysis.  An additional grant provided for a specialized laboratory supervisor needed to develop and implement additional analysis of immune cell functions and measure the status of the patient immune system during therapy. The CICSL is now a valuable shared resource doing analysis for several researchers in various fields of focus.  The lab played a key role in the success of the neutral stem cell therapy of Karen Aboody', M.D.  The lab has initiated a number of phase I and II clinical trials for glioma (brain tumor), B-cell lymphoma, relapsed non-Hodgkin lymphoma,  acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, multiple myeloma and ovarian cancer. The lab's name has been changed to The Adoptive Cell  Immunotherapy Laboratory.        
Dr. Raubitscheck
Dr. Forman

2006: Research Into a Key Protein for Cancer
$150,000 - STAT3 Protein Study (Fast Track)  

The STAT3 protein is found in almost all cells in our body. As a general rule STAT3 is dormant in normal cells. In contrast, STAT3 is constantly active in cancer cells and in the immune cells within and surrounding tumors. A team co-led by Hua Yu, Ph.D., now the Tim Nesvig Lymphoma Research Fellow at City of Hope, was the first to show that blocking STAT3 in tumors leads to tumor regression. Additionally, Yu, and her colleagues discovered that the active STAT3 protein strengthens the tumor cells while weakening the natural defense mounted by the immune cells around a tumor. By de-activating STAT3, Yu found that not only does the tumor cell die, but the surrounding immune cells regain their ability to fight cancer cells.

Our grant enabled Yu to focus on a “fast track” process where no government funding was available.  With the results she established from our “seed money” she has been able to apply for and receive numerous major grants from the National Institutes of Health and others.

Currently,  Dr Yu reports that significant progress has been made and she is very close to starting the first in-human trials. Her team has completed the necessary preclinical studies, optimizing the human version of the STAT 3 protein and are now producing quality STAT3 products to be used in clinical trials for the treatment of glioma and B cell lymphomas. These  trials are scheduled to begin in October 2014.

Dr. Yu

2007: Clinical Research Advancement Fund
$500,000 - Fund Hiring Five Clinical Trial Physicians

The growth of the clinical trials program required an increase of doctors to treat and monitor patients in therapies being brought from the laboratory bench to the patient bedside.  This grant was established to support the salary requirements for up to five doctors. These physician-researchers were specifically recruited to help design and then execute the phase I/II trials ready for in-human treatment. Initially three doctors were recruited in 2008 and at present our grant has allowed another five doctors to be recruited through 2012.

2009: Studies That Seek to Improve Care for Older Adults
$250,000 - Creating Geriatric-Specific Treatment Protocols

Arti Hurria, M.D., director of the Cancer and Aging Research Program, concentrates her research on cancer in the aging population and developing more patient-friendly treatments. Our grant was to provide the funds for a study of the effects of chemotherapy in the older population.

Her research to identify risk factors for severe chemotherapy side effects in older adults enrolled 500 patients from seven participating institutions across the U.S. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2011 and was identified by the American Society of Clinical Oncology as one of the “Clinical Cancer Advances in 2012.”

A similar study was initiated by her team, specifically for older women with breast cancer. Based upon the results of her first study, the National Institute of Health recently awarded Hurria a $2.5 million grant, with additional funding support from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation,
In 2013 she was recognized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology with the B.J. Kennedy award for scientific excellence in geriatric oncology.
Dr. Hurria

2011: Targeting the Mechanism Behind Can­cer's Growth
$250,000 - Attacking the DNA That Replicates Cancer Cells

Linda Malkas, Ph.D., deputy director of basic research and professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, has discovered a key protein within a breast cancer cell that replicates the cell and creates a tumor mutation which continues to copy. She has identified six agents (out of more than 6 million tested) that inhibit this protein from reproducing - thereby stopping the cancer in its tracks. She is also collaborating with Hua Yu, Ph.D., our 2006 grant recipient. Malkas believes the BOG grant will give her the needed funds to bring her research from the bench to the bedside and begin the first-in-human trial of her protocol within two years.


UPDATE: Neuroblastoma is one of the most common childhood neoplasms, brain cancer. Her team previously reported a novel cancer which was significantly expressed in a broad range of cancer cells, but not in nonmalignant cells. Malkas and her research team designed a molecule to test this hypothesis. Their investigation shows that this molecule selectively kills human neuroblastoma cells with very little toxicity to nonmalignant cells. They are working with pediatric oncologists to conduct pre-clinical testing.

A small molecule compound, AOH39, shows significant promise for arresting neuroblastoma and breast cancer. David Horne, Ph.D., has been able to chemically modify the original AOH35 potency, increasing its effectiveness by 10 times, thereby greatly increasing its ability to inhibit a cancer cell’s ability to repair damage to it and therefore it dies.

Dr. Malkas

2013: Merging of Eastern and Western Medicine
$100,000 - Using natural compounds found in Traditional Asian Medicine

John Hosei Yim, M.D., associate professor of surgery, performs breast and endocrine surgery, and conducts research for breast and endocrine cancer treatments.  Yim works with natural compounds found in traditional Asian medicine, as well as superfoods such as blueberries, mushrooms, and soy.  His laboratory has discovered a compound found in a Chinese root, baicalein, which activates a protein that causes cancer cells to kill themselves and makes them more susceptible to our immune systems.  It can also inhibit cancer cell growth in glandular tissue including breast, prostate, ovary and even colon. According to his studies, tumors can shrink in mouse models, including those that are resistant to chemotherapy. Yim's therapy can combine with chemotherapy to shrink tumors even further, while lessening the toxicity of the chemotherapy.

This compound will be given orally. City of Hope has a pharmaceutical plant on the campus that will manufacture the clinical grade baicalein pills which will eventually be given to patients being treated at City of Hope. The support from the BOG will provide the funds needed to manufacture these pills and allow for studies to confirm its safety and efficacy in tumor bearing mice, in preparation for Food and Drug Administration approval for clinical trials. The results of these studies will provide the foundation for further funding from the National Institute of Health or other organizations for merging Eastern and Western Medicine, which hopefully will result in more effective, less toxic, and perhaps even preventative treatments for cancer patients.

Dr. Yim

2013:  The Smart Bomb Approach to Curing  HIV/AIDS

$100,000 -- BioRad QX100 Droplet Digital PCR instrument

John Rossi, Ph.D., professor, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and John C. Burnett, Ph.D., assistant research professor, Molecular and Cellular Biology, will be using this instrument to measure the levels of cancer markers and to test new therapeutics which may reduce the levels of cancer cells.

With the help of this highly precise measuring device, that gives exponential amplification of nucleic acids, using their new gene editing technology, CRISPR, they will target HIV genes in infected cells. The doctors have engineered biological molecules to deliver the therapeutics only to the intended cells and devised methods to target only the HIV genes without affecting the human genes. This greatly reduces toxicity. These strategies mark a highly specific and potent approach for eradicating HIV.

Importantly, CRISPR technology will also be applicable for many types of cancers and other genetic diseases. It will also be used to develop new anti-cancer agents currently under investigation for pancreatic cancer, B-cell lymphoma, and T-cell leukemia.

According to Burnett, to his knowledge, no one has ever used this instrument to discover these new agents and he is preparing a patent application for this purpose making this instrument the focal point of a breakthrough technology.

Their findings will confirm that the agents can eradicate cancer and HIV in animal models. These important initial experiments will enable City of Hope to secure federal funding and prepare for the most critical step, human clinical trials with new therapeutics.


More detailed information on any of the above research projects is available by calling, 213-202-5735 ext. 26375.

The following doctors have all benefited from the Board of Governors grants towards their research.  Their area of expertise covers cancer, immunotherapeutics, tumor immunology, surgery, oncology, hematology, neurological spine, hematopoietic cell transplantation and molecular/cellular biology.

Saro Armenian, D.O, M.P.H., John C Burnett, Ph.D., Robert Figlin, M.D., F.A.C.P. (no longer at City of Hope), Stephen Forman, M.D., Julio Garcia-Aguilar, M.D., Ph.D., Ernest S. Han, M.D., Ph.D., Arti Hurria, M.D., Ruhal Jandial, M.D., Ph.D., Michael Jensen, M.D. (no longer at City o.f Hope), Michael Kalos, Ph.D. (no longer at City of Hope), Theodore G. Krontiris, M.D., Laura Kruper, M.D., Linda Malkas, Ph.D.
Renee Penn, M.D., Andrew Raubitschek, M.D, John Rossi, Ph.D., Timothy W. Synold, Ph.D., John Hosei Yim, M.D., Hua Yu, Ph.D.


2014 Events

EDUCATION AND CAMARADERIE — An evening of dessert and coffee in a private home. Learning about the next research project that the Board of Governors is planning to support, other fund-raising opportunities  and getting-to-know each other.
AN AFTERNOON AT THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES PICKFORD CENTER — Update on the research work by the doctor that the Board of Governors is planning to support, view the museum exhibits and enjoy the Marx Brothers “A Night at the Opera.”
AN EVENING OF EXPLORATION, DINNER AND COMEDY at THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM — View the Endeavour Space Shuttle, Museum special exhibits, enjoy the entertainment and report on the funded research programs supported by the Board of Governors.
ANNUAL FUNDING LUNCHEON at LUXE HOTEL — Update on the research areas we support, discuss future funding projects and kick-off the year-end letter-writing campaign.
HOLIDAY PARTY at BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL — Recap on the fundraising campaign in support of our research projects, celebrate the year-end and announce future projects and activities. A fond farewell to Dr Michael Friedman on his retirement from leading City of Hope into the 21st Century and while CEO establishing it as one of the leading Cancer Centers in the world.
AN INTIMATE EVENING OF EXPLORATION AND DISCOVERY — Announce and inform members about a newly designed fund-raising program and get to know each other better.
BARBECUE AND VISIT THE GENE AUTRY MUSEUM — Tour the exhibits at the Autry National Center, update by one of the City of Hope research scientists on the progress of her projects supported by the Board of Governors.
About City of Hope
Ranked as one of  "America’s Best Hospitals"  in cancer by U.S.News & World Report, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of hematopoietic cell transplantation and genetics. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest honor bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope's research and treatment protocols advance care throughout the nation.
Join Us
The Board of Governors is expanding! We invite interested parties throughout the United States to support City of Hope and the Immunology programs underwritten by the Board of Governors.
Contact Us
Mildred Marin
P: 800-544-3541 ext. 26375