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    Full Circle – with Dario Sattui

    Approximately eight years ago I fell off my bicycle and broke almost every bone in my neck.  Now all my neck bones are fused. I have a plate with screws holding my bones together and I can turn my head only partially.

    At the time, my wife-to-be, Irina, wanted me to go to University of California San Francisco (UCSF), a well-respected teaching hospital, l but was notified by St. Helena Hospital that there were no beds available. She called her daughter Valeria, a research scientist, who worked for Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco. Gladstone Institutes is an independent state-of-the-art biomedical research institution that empowers its world-class scientists to find new pathways to cures. In turn, Valeria called the president of Gladstone Institutes, Deepak Srivastava, who obtained a private room for me immediately at UCSF. I was in surgery the very next day thanks to Deepak and tended to by a great surgeon, Dr. Mummaneni.

    Through Valeria Deepak, Irina and I became friends. Three years ago, more health issues surfaced for me. I was in the beginning stages of heart failure, specifically amyloidosis. I then decided to donate $2,000,000 to Gladstone Institutes for heart research. Gladstone employs 600 scientists, all working to overcome various diseases.

    I recently visited the Gladstone Institutes and learned they staff two Nobel Prize winners but did not yet have an institute for studying heart fibrosis and amyloidosis. That is when I decided to donate another $2,500,000, for a total of $4,500,000. I am proud to be sponsoring an imminent scientist named Michael Alexanian so he can set up his own laboratory and employ fellow scientists to study heart failure full-time, specifically heart fibrosis and amyloidosis.

    Assistant Investigator Michael Alexanian looks at data in the lab at Gladstone Institutes on July 27th, 2022.
    “The most effective way to do science is by really using the environment and experts around you to your advantage. Gladstone is a place that makes it very easy to do this.”  – MICHAEL ALEXANIAN, PHD

    I feel really good about my donation.  I, of course, hope there will be a discovery that will help me, but more importantly, it will help a multitude of people suffering from heart failure in the future.

    Thus, I have come full circle with Deepak. This extraordinary man helped me eight years ago, and now I am helping him and Gladstone Institutes in support of science overcoming disease.

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