Directed by Tobias D. Raabe, Ph.D., the Core and Laboratory performs and enhances novel CRISPR and TALEN technologies that allow genetic modification of mouse and human stem cells for both basic research and gene therapy in patients with unprecedented efficiency and specificity.
Dr. Roscher, who “likes to acknowledge that he was born in Albert Einstein’s birthplace of Ulm, Germany,” earned his M.D. magna cum laude at the Ludwig Maximillian University, Munich, Germany. He spent most of his career in Southern California, where he served on the leadership of both the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital (1975-2001), and the former Granada Hills Community Hospital (1965-2003), where he is now an emeritus director. Since 1979 he has been clinical professor at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California.
During his nearly 60 years in medicine, Dr. Roscher has helped to bring about important changes in radiation oncology, surgical oncology, and heart transplant and cardiac surgery, on which he published in more than 25 patient - centered studies and clinical trials. He also played a significant role in championing fine needle aspiration pathology and stem cell research.
With this gift Dr. Roscher continues his career-long dedication to supporting advances in science and medicine. He has made it a priority to educate surgeons on genetics, regenerative medicine, immunology, and other leading-edge fields that are changing the prospects for patients.
He organized 33 annual Arno A. Roscher symposia, which were co-sponsored by UCLA, USC and UCI, and in 2009 created the Dr. Arno A. Roscher Annual Endowed Lecture at the International College of Surgeons (ICS). He has served ICS since 1968, and earned its highest distinction, the ICS Honorary Fellow. Through his interests, he has met Nobel Prize winners and many other leading minds in science and medicine.
“It’s especially meaningful to us that this gift comes from an accomplished, knowledgeable, and forward-thinking medical practitioner and scholar, who has had a great influence on the implementation of better treatments,” said Morris J. Birnbaum, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Dean, Biomedical Cores at the Perelman School of Medicine.
“Dr. Roscher is very attuned to promising developments in medical research, and we are proud to have his endorsement and acknowledgment that this work will have a great impact on how quickly the causes of and therapies for genetic diseases are delivered in the foreseeable future.”
The gift came about when Drs. Roscher and Raabe met at a scientific conference.
“It’s the newest of the new,” said Dr. Roscher of Dr. Raabe’s work, and he enlisted Dr. Raabe’s assistance in creating an exhibit at the International Museum of Surgical Sciences on ‘surgicogenomics,’ the field that is “emerging from the intersection of genetics and stem cell research and surgical practice.” The Museum is a Division of the International College of Surgeons, dedicated to improving the lives of patients through the development and education of its members and the advancement of the medical field.
Dr. Roscher’s gift will be used to speed the work of the Gene Targeting Core and Laboratory through funding an additional research specialist and materials and supplies, for the purpose of advancing ultra high efficient gene targeting in mouse and human stem cells.
“This support is making a real difference in how much we can accomplish, and comes at a pivotal time when we are working on technologies that have the potential to be game changing,” said Dr. Raabe. “We couldn’t be more grateful.”