City of Hope teams up with award-winning actress Mayim Bialik of CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” to launch the Hope Experiment and inspire STEM students
September 14, 2016

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Letisia Marquez
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Pop-up event in Santa Monica today includes hands-on, interactive activities that demonstrate how the institution’s innovative research can lead to scientific miracles

DUARTE, Calif. — City of Hope, a world-renowned independent research and cancer treatment center, today announced the launch of The Hope Experiment, a special pop-up educational event, highlighting the institution’s commitment to inspiring young people to study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), in partnership with Emmy-nominated and Critics Choice-award-winning actress Mayim Bialik and Cal-HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America).

The Hope Experiment, which debuts on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California, (between Arizona Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard) today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT, aims to share the promise of science with students and the general public by showcasing City of Hope’s expertise in the research and treatment of cancer.  

Bialik, who not only plays a neuroscientist on CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” but also earned Ph.D. and B.S. degrees in neuroscience, says a biology tutor introduced her to the fascinating world of science and innovation at age 15, giving her the confidence to pursue a career in STEM and inspire others to pursue their passion for science.

“I know students may not always be initially excited or interested in STEM, but I also know firsthand that being a scientist is so creative and impactful,” says Bialik. “With that opportunity to inspire in mind, I’m thrilled to partner with City of Hope and Cal-HOSA to launch the Hope Experiment, which will bring to life how innovations in the lab can lead to fascinating careers, such as developing lifesaving cures.”

City of Hope has an impressive track record of research breakthroughs and is constantly working to turn novel scientific research into the most advanced medical services. Three key areas of cancer research being pioneered at City of Hope will be featured at the Hope Experiment and will include live, hands-on demonstrations and the opportunity to speak with the researchers involved in these studies.

  • CAR-T Cell Therapies: City of Hope is at the forefront of a specific kind of immunotherapy, known as CAR-T cell therapy, in which a patient’s immune system is reprogrammed to recognize and destroy their cancer tumors. Researchers are using this therapy for patients with many different types of cancers, including brain, prostate and breast cancer, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
  • Nanotechnology: By harnessing leading-edge nanotechnology, City of Hope researchers are working to deliver targeted therapy directly to cancer cells without damaging nearby tissues, and to stimulate the immune system to attack the cancer.
  • Superfoods: City of Hope is among the first to examine certain foods which may have the ability to combat cancer – without affecting healthy tissue – such as mushrooms, blueberries, pomegranates, cinnamon and grape seed extract.


“Launching the Hope Experiment in partnership with Mayim Bialik and Cal-HOSA is an opportunity to educate the community and inspire students on City of Hope’s unparalleled, groundbreaking innovations in the prevention and treatment of cancer,” said Steven T.  Rosen, M.D., provost and chief scientific officer for City of Hope. “Science, technology, engineering and math are all critical components of the outstanding care and research for which City of Hope has been known for over 100 years. That is why we must continue to foster the growth and development of the next generation of scientists, who will one day play a vital role in helping us fuse science and research innovation with compassionate care in order to save lives.”

In addition to showcasing the research coming out of City of Hope, the event will include a live panel discussion featuring Bialik, City of Hope researcher Christine Brown, Ph.D., associate director of the T Cell Therapeutics Research Laboratory and Heritage Provider Network Professor in Immunotherapy, and Kaitlyn Riego, a student representative from Cal-HOSA. The discussion, which is being moderated by Sumanta Pal, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research at City of Hope, will focus on what motivated the panelists to pursue careers in STEM, how to ignite young people’s interest in STEM, and will also include a live Q&A where attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in the discussion.

“It’s important to help students connect the dots between science in the classroom and industry challenges. That’s what our health science programs try to do every day,” said Wes Muller, 2015 – 2016 Board Chair of Cal-HOSA. “With the Hope Experiment, students are connecting with industry in a new and innovative way that offers attendees a chance to learn and engage with pioneering cancer researchers who work at City of Hope.”  

For more information on the Hope Experiment, visit http://www.cityofhope.org/hope-experiment or search #HopeExperiment on social media for live updates.

About Mayim Bialik
Mayim Bialik is an Emmy-nominated and Critics Choice-award-winning actress best known for her lead role as Blossom Russo on the early-1990s NBC television sitcom “Blossom” and Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory.” Bialik, who was born in San Diego, earned a B.S. in neuroscience and Hebrew & Jewish studies from UCLA in 2000, and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA in 2007. Bialik has a passion for inspiring young people about science, technology, engineering and math.

About The Hope Experiment
The Hope Experiment is a special pop-up educational event, developed in partnership with Cal-HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), to educate the community on City of Hope’s commitment to science, technology, engineering and math. Open to students and the public, the Hope Experiment will demonstrate how innovative research can lead to scientific miracles through hands-on, interactive activities.

About Cal-HOSA
Cal-HOSA is the California chapter of Health Occupations Students of America, which is a federally recognized organization for students that are interested in science, technology, engineering and math, who are also interested in pursuing careers in the health care industry. Cal-HOSA enhances the delivery of compassionate, quality health care by providing members with the skills needed for success in their chosen health profession.  

About City of Hope
City of Hope is an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as one of only 45 comprehensive cancer centers, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the world. City of Hope is located in Duarte, California, just northeast of Los Angeles, with community clinics throughout Southern California. It is ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation, diabetes and numerous breakthrough cancer drugs based on technology developed at the institution. For more information about City of Hope, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

Suggested tweet: Today in @DTSantaMonica, @CityofHope, #MayimBialik & @CalHosa launch #HopeExperiment to inspire #STEM students http://bit.ly/2aiehay

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