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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tackling Rare Diseases

Alumnus Donny Deutsch Hosts Benefit for Research

From left to right: Donny Deutsch, Dean Jameson,
Allison Weiss Brady, C'93, and George Weiss, and
 Claudina Bonetti Marcus, President and Founder of the
Caterina Marcus Foundation
Advertising mogul and television personality Donny Deutsch, W’79, helped Penn raise vital funds and awareness for the thousands of diseases considered “rare.”

“Even though each disease affects relatively few people, collectively they impact 20 million people in our nation alone,” said Dean J. Larry Jameson, M.D., Ph.D. “The magnitude of occurrence does not mirror the magnitude of suffering, but hope does lie in the research taking place every day at Penn Medicine—and beyond.”

The event raised more than $200,000 for the Penn Center for Orphan Disease Research and Therapy. The Center seeks to accelerate solutions for patients and their families by supporting the good work in progress, wherever it may be, and creating connections between researchers, enabling them to share expertise, technology, and other resources. In its first year, the Center has supported research at nine institutions across the nation.

“We have ambitious goals for the rare disease research we support, and we will be able to reach those goals thanks to the dedication of friends like George Weiss W’65, PAR’89 and ‘93, Claudina Marcus, John Cali, and so many others,” said Dean Jameson. “The Center is about connections: between our advocates and donors, as well as among partner research institutions.”

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