06:09 AM

Los Angeles Lakers' President and Owner Donates $1.5M for Surgical Oncology Research at Cedars-Sinai

Endowed Fellowship Program to Induct Inaugural Fellow

Contact: Michael L. Miller | Email: michael.miller@cshs.org

Los Angeles - Aug. 6, 2015 – Jeanie Buss, president and part owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, has donated $1.5 million to establish the Dr. Jerry H. Buss Surgical Oncology Fellowship. The gift is a tribute to her beloved father and also honors close friend and family physician, Allan W. Silberman, MD, PhD.

Jerry Buss was an investor, philanthropist and owner of professional sports franchises. In 1979, Buss became majority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers. Under his leadership, the team won 10 NBA championships.

Jeanie was inspired to endow the fellowship by her parents' courageous battles with cancer. Both were patients of Silberman. Her mother, JoAnn, is a cancer survivor and remains under Silberman's care. "Philanthropy is about addressing the needs of a community. We can only be successful when everyone is thriving," Buss said.

Cedars-Sinai officials expressed gratitude for the gift that will fuel the medical center's academic mission.

"We are enormously grateful that Jeanie Buss has chosen to honor her father's memory with a gift that advances our educational mission in such a meaningful fashion," said Shlomo Melmed, MD, senior vice president for academic affairs. "By training new young surgeons every year, the Buss Fellowship will dramatically accelerate the development and application of new ideas and innovations in the treatment of cancer."

The fellowship program will provide mentoring in an immersive environment that enables fellows to gain clinical and research skills that will serve as the foundation of their life work. "It really matched what was important to my father, which was education," said Buss. "He had a PhD in physical chemistry and loved surrounding himself with interesting people who are passionate in their fields. He believed in the research community. The fellowship matches everything that was important to him. It's a legacy that will provide for the future."

The Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute focuses on combining compassionate, high-quality, patient-centered care with pioneering cancer research.

Silberman and Armando E. Giuliano, MD, will co-chair the fellowship. The inaugural fellow is oncologist Jenny J. Hong, MD. "In the last 10 years, there have been so many advances [in cancer research]," said Buss. "I think if we get behind great minds, great things will happen. My dad taught me to always value and support outstanding talent."