Tag Archives: Michael Bassoff

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‘Get Your Jersey On’ funds TGen concussion study

Kyrene de las Brisas Elementary School students and teachers will wear their favorite sports team jersey or t-shirt to class today, the first organization to participate in “Get Your Jersey On,” a fun way to help promote and fund concussion research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

The Chandler school is the first of what is expected to be many organizations this fall that will help fund TGen’s collaboration with the Arizona State University Sun Devil football team to help find new ways to protect athletes from serious injuries caused by head trauma.

“Our school is just a few miles south of ASU, and what better — and fun — way to show our support for the teams and athletes than to help fund a program that will ultimately help protect their health. Concussions affect not just athletes, but people of all ages. We are proud to partner with TGen to help raise the awareness of this important research,” said Dino Katsiris, Assistant Principal at Kyrene de las Brisas Elementary School.

Teachers and parents of students participating in “Get Your Jersey On” are encouraged to make small donations of $5 or $10 to TGen. If you would like your organization to participate, contact Dean Ballard, Assistant Director of Development for the non-profit TGen Foundation, at dballard@tgen.org, or 602-343-8543.

Student-athletes at ASU wear football helmets made by Riddell, a leader is sports helmet technology, with sensors that record the number, direction and intensity of impacts during games and practices.

TGen researchers, working with Barrow Neurological Institute and A.T. Still University, are attempting to connect data about the helmet impacts with biological changes that could be detected in the players’ blood, urine or saliva samples.

The goal is to discover a biomarker — some change in the student-athlete’s genetic makeup — that would objectively indicate when they are too injured to continue playing, and when they are fit enough to return to the game.

Representatives from the Sun Devil medical team and TGen will collect the molecular samples from the participating athletes, all of whom volunteered to partake in the study.

“It is so exciting to have the children of Kyrene de las Brisas Elementary School join us in this important work,” said Michael Bassoff, President of the TGen Foundation. “We welcome the participation of Brisas Elementary School and other businesses and organizations who want to turn their love of sports into a way to help protect the athletes they admire.”

For more information about the TGen-led concussion study, please visit tgen.org.

Tony Pena, Brian Cashman

Yankees’ GM supports TGen Research

A top official of the New York Yankees whose father passed from pancreatic cancer has joined a prestigious national panel organized by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to fight this aggressive disease.

Brian Cashman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the vaunted Yankees Major League Baseball franchise, has joined TGen’s National Advisory Council for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

TGen’s National Advisory Council leads a critically needed funding effort and promotes a deeper public understanding of pancreatic cancer, the nation’s fourth-leading cause of cancer death, which in 2012 took the lives of nearly 44,000 in the U.S. and nearly 235,000 worldwide.

Cashman lost his father, John, in September after a 10-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He had wanted his Yankees to reach the World Series as one last gift to his father.

“My father loved the Yankees. There are a lot of people who face these kinds of challenges, and they look to the Yankees to provide positive inspiration. For my father, the Yankees were always something he could look forward to,” he said. “I welcome the responsibilities and challenges of my role in the fight against pancreatic cancer. I have a personal experience to draw from, and coupled with my unique standing within the fabric of baseball, I’d like to believe I can make the type of contribution my father would be proud of.”

Cashman was invited to join TGen’s National Advisory Council by another council member, Arizona Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall, who in 2011 lost his father, Larry, to pancreatic cancer, even as Derrick was fighting his own battle with prostate cancer.

The Yankees and Diamondbacks played one of the game’s iconic 7-game World Series in 2001.

In addition to Cashman and Hall, another MLB official, David Dombrowski – President, CEO and General Manager of the Detroit Tigers – also is a member of the National Advisory Council for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

Other members of TGen’s National Advisory Council are: Raymond Bojanowski, Co-founder and Co-chairman of the Seena Magowitz Foundation; Karl Glassman, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Leggett & Platt Inc.; Diane Halle,
President of the Bruce T. Halle Family Foundation and the Herbert K. Cummings Charitable Trust; Steve Hilton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Meritage Homes Corp.; David Lane, President of the Lane Affiliated Companies; Roger Magowitz, President and Founder of the Seena Magowitz Foundation; Vincent McBeth, President of the The McBeth Group International and a retired U.S. Navy Commander; Larry Rogers, President and CEO of the Sealy Corp.; Steve Stagner, President and CEO of the Mattress Firm; Louis A. “Chip” Weil III, retired Chairman, President and CEO of Central Newspapers Inc.; and Howard Young, President of the General Wholesale Company.

“Brian Cashman is a powerful addition to TGen’s National Advisory Council. His personal experience, championship reputation, and national visibility will be a huge boost to TGen’s fight against pancreatic cancer,” said Michael Bassoff, TGen Foundation President.

Cashman joined the Yankees as a 19-year-old intern and now commands one of the most demanding jobs in sports. During 25 seasons, he has earned five World Series rings. At age 30, he became the youngest GM to win a World Series. And during 1998-2000 he became the only GM in Baseball history to win World Series titles in each of his first three seasons.