On Friday, September 16, the Angelman Syndrome Foundation traveled to Hollywood, California to attend a private fundraiser in support of the Dr. Joseph E. Wagstaff Postdoctoral Fellowship. The event, held at the prestigious W Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard, hosted over 100 celebrity guests in the film, entertainment, food, wine and travel industries!
Dr. Ian King, an investigator from the University of North Carolina and the first Dr. Joseph E. Wagstaff Postdoctoral Fellow, presented on the scope of his project relative to the un-silencing of the paternal allele. Dr. King’s presentation generated enthusiasm, excitement and greater awareness of the AS research in process.
Co-host Susan Ravellette told her personal story as a parent of a child with Angelman syndrome, her involvement as a Board member for the Angelman Syndrome Foundation, and her most memorable experiences with Dr. Wagstaff. Eileen Braun, Executive Director of the Angelman Syndrome Foundation, provided a summary of the exciting developments in the Angelman syndrome research landscape and ASF’s long-standing commitment to funding research.
Guests at the event were treated to fine wine and gourmet hors d’oeuvres, including roasted baby beet skewers with honeycomb and goat cheese, bluefin tuna tartar with wasabi tobikko in an eggplant taco shell, and an organic kale salad with honey sriracha fried chicken! The great food and atmosphere provided a terrific backdrop for the night’s presentations, which began with co-host Mary Wagstaff’s touching tribute to her brother, Dr. Joseph E. Wagstaff.
Overall, the event was heralded as a success, not only raising funds for Angelman syndrome research, but also raising awareness in those not directly impacted by Angelman syndrome!
Dr. Joseph E. Wagstaff (August 5, 1955 – April 8, 2008) was a consummate pediatrician, medical geneticist and researcher. As much as anyone in the world, he advanced the scientific understanding of the Angelman syndrome (AS). He selflessly gave his time to provide much needed counsel to AS families and was an invaluable contributor to the Angelman Syndrome Foundation (ASF). His work on the Scientific Advisory Committee was instrumental in soliciting and evaluating the high caliber of scientific proposals that ASF is tremendously proud to fund.
The Joseph E. Wagstaff Postdoctoral Fellowship supports the brightest and best young investigators in the preclinical, translational and clinical research areas that investigate all aspects of Angelman syndrome through novel or innovative research initiatives and to further support and encourage existing Angelman-related research projects.
View photos from the event on our Facebook page!