Packard Science Director Recognized for Contributions Made to ALS ResearchDr. Piera Pasinelli receives Diamond Award at 2012 Wings Over Wall Street.
Piera Pasinelli receives the 2012 Diamond Award from WINGS co-founder Warren Schiffer.MDA’s Wings Over Wall Street started as a tribute to a loved one battling ALS: Warren Schiffer established the event in honor of his beloved wife, Tony Diamond, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2000. Schiffer and Diamond originally created the gala event as Wings of Hope, playing on the fact that the two worked in the airline industry. Their goal was simple: to raise funds and awareness for ALS research.
Michael Beier, a Wall Street equity trader, was also diagnosed with ALS around the same time and the families, all from New York, began working with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and merged the fundraising efforts into their current incarnation as Wings Over Wall Street®.
Now in its twelfth year, the hugely successful gala has raised close to $10M for the research efforts of the Packard Center, MDA and Columbia University.
This year was particularly important to the Packard Center as the annual Diamond Award, honoring a scientific leader’s commitment to ALS research, was presented to Dr. Piera Pasinelli, Packard Center’s Scientific Director and a leading researcher in the field of ALS.
"Every year, we are learning more about ALS and identifying potential therapeutic targets. Bringing hope to patients through the science that we do is ultimately what drives our research," Pasinelli said.
"Dr. Pasinelli was a perfect choice to receive this award," noted WINGS co-founder and Packard Center Board Member Warren Schiffer. "Not only is Dr. Pasinelli a passionate, accomplished, and brilliant ALS researcher, she also shares her passion with her husband and fellow ALS scientist Dr. Davide Trotti," he added. "It truly touched my heart to present the Diamond Award in Toni's honor to someone who also fights this dreadful disease with the person she loves. Dr. Pasinelli, representing the Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins, epitomizes the Packard Center's commitment to excellence, collaboration, and translational research goals."
The event, held in September at Gotham Hall in New York City brings together the financial community in celebration and to raise money for research. “While it’s a fun night, there is a serious nature to the event,” notes Kathy Davis, Packard Center’s Administrative Director. Davis, along with several staff and Board members, attended this year’s event. “Even with all of the celebrating, you really get the sense that people care about this disease and funding research to find a cure for ALS. It remains a wonderful tribute to Toni and Michael, and this year we were proud that our scientific director was honored for her work in the field.”
–– Suzanne Connelly