Pharmaceutical leader Cam Garner and his wife Wanda, a cancer workshop facilitator and philanthropic fundraiser, have long supported medical research and treatment efforts at UC San Diego Health’s Moores Cancer Center. Recently, the Rancho Santa Fe couple donated $ 2 million to establish the Garner Family Chancellor’s Endowment Chair in Blood and Marrow Transplantation to support excellence in research, teaching and clinical care at UC San Diego Health in the area of blood cancers in general, and blood and bone marrow transplant (BMT) in particular.
Edward D. Ball, MD, director and head of the blood and marrow transplant program at UC San Diego Health, was selected as the inaugural chair. A certified medical hematologist and oncologist, he leads an interdisciplinary team of physicians, advanced practitioners, nurses, social workers and support staff. He is also a researcher in blood cancer clinical trials, offering innovative therapies rarely offered in other hospitals.
“We thank Cam and Wanda for their long service and support at Moores Cancer Center,” said Director Scott Lippman, MD. “Dr. Ball epitomizes this named chair, with a wonderful fusion of humility, integrity and visionary leadership that is Garner’s legacy. Ted is an exceptional, caring and compassionate physician-researcher, bringing spectrum and expertise unique to patient care. His paradigm-shifting research has led to practice-changing breakthroughs, launching a new area of immune checkpoint blockage in transplantation. “
The only comprehensive cancer control center designated by the National Cancer Institute in the San Diego area, the Moores Cancer Center includes, under one roof on the campus of the University of California at San Diego, a diverse and dedicated group of clinicians and scientists focused on understanding and improving cancer treatments.
For Cam Garner, there are personal reasons he donates his time and resources to the Moores Cancer Center. “My father was diagnosed with cancer when I was six and died when I was 17. In addition, I lost a sister and a brother to cancer, both very young. My experience with family members treated for cancer was that they all had to travel significant distances to get world-class care. To say the least, it is very disruptive for the whole family and I think it affects the outcome of those who are treated. “
UC San Diego Health has the scientific and clinical expertise to treat all cancers. “We are working hard to see that no San Diegan would have to leave the area to receive the best cancer treatment,” said Wanda Garner. “We invest our time, talent and financial resources in the Moores Cancer Center because of its vision and dedication to that vision. “
As a cancer researcher for over 30 years, Ball understands first-hand the critical role private supporters play. “The current climate for funding federal grants and foundations is the most competitive ever, which means more talented scientists compete for less dollars from traditional sources – and many are strapped for resources,” a- he declared. “Private support is a crucial element in completing and pursuing great scientific discoveries. “
A professor in the Department of Medicine, he studies all aspects of stem cell transplantation and has patented four of his innovations in cancer treatment. Ball has published over 250 journal articles and book chapters based on his basic and clinical research. It offers chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy to adults with certain cancers. CAR T-cell therapy harnesses a patient’s own immune cells to recognize and kill cancer cells, one of the many types of personalized cancer therapy offered at UC San Diego Health.
Ranked among “America’s Best Physicians” for the past 10 years, Ball is a past recipient of the Stohlman Prize of the Leukemia Society of America and a former member of the Steering Committee of the prestigious BMT Clinical Trials Network. Prior to joining UC San Diego Health, he served for seven years as Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at the Cancer Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. Ball received fellowships in hematology and oncology at Geisel School of Medicine in Dartmouth and University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. He completed his residency training at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut and received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.
Cam Garner, a pharmaceutical executive with over 40 years of experience in the healthcare industry, is chair of the Moores Cancer Center Visitors Committee. He was part of the executive team that built Hybritech Inc. He was CEO and President of Dura Pharmaceuticals from 1989 to 2000, when Elan Corp. acquired it for $ 1.8 billion. Since then he has founded or co-founded numerous specialty pharmaceutical companies in San Diego including Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc., SkinMedica, Xcel Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Zavante Therapeutics, Inc., among others. A graduate of Virginia Wesleyan University, he obtained an MBA from Baldwin-Wallace College.
A Certified Marriage and Family Therapist, Wanda Garner closed her private practice three years ago to lead workshops for couples using Hold Me Tight developed by Sue Johnson. For the past six years, she has offered workshops to cancer patients and their partners at the Moores Cancer Center. The objective of these workshops is the impact of cancer on the couple relationship and the importance of a safe and secure bond of love which confers multiple benefits on the patient and the caregiver. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling and from United States International University (now Alliant International University) with a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy.
The couple passionately believe that cancer can be beaten through cutting-edge research, treatment and personalized care. “The members of the Moores Cancer Center team are dedicated, motivated, persevering, compassionate, caring and are remarkable in their careers,” said Wanda Garner. “I hope that in the lives of my children and certainly my grandchildren, cancer will be almost eliminated.”
The Endowed Faculty Chair was created as part of the University Chancellor’s Chair Challenge to support the recruitment and retention of distinguished faculty. Garner’s gift helps campaign for UC San Diego. Learn more at campagne.ucsd.edu. -Press release