Our United Cancer Front Team

LILLY TARTIKOFF KARATZ, Founder / Chairperson of the Board

Lilly Tartikoff Karatz is one of the foremost activists in the fight against cancer. When Lilly’s late husband Brandon Tartikoff (President and Chairman of Entertainment for NBC and later Chairman of Paramount Pictures) was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s in 1982, Lilly was first introduced to the brilliant Dr. Dennis Slamon. Lilly became committed to facilitating advances in cancer and started fundraising for Dr. Slamon in 1989. In 1990 Lilly created the annual Fire and Ice Balls in Hollywood, which were established to raise funds for the Revlon/UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Program, co-founded by Lilly Tartikoff and Ronald Perelman. Lilly then co-founded the Revlon Run/Walks with Ronald Perelman and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) in Los Angeles in 1993 and New York City in 1998, eventually producing a total of 38 Run/Walks. Together these fundraising efforts raised 81 million dollars for Dr. Slamon and his research team, which led to the FDA approval of a new targeted treatment called Herceptin (survival in 20% of those women with this very aggressive form of breast cancer). These events would also help support the groundwork for another new targeted therapy called Ibrance effecting 65% of all breast cancers of women diagnosed ER positive.

In 1997, Lilly & Dr. Slamon co-founded the National Women’s Cancer Research Alliance (NWCRA) with EIF. In 2000, she partnered with Katie Couric and EIF to form the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance.

In 2002 Lilly & Dr. Dennis Slamon co-founded the United Cancer Front, to develop revolutionary, targeted treatments for all disciplines of cancer. To begin the fundraising for UCF, they produced the United Cancer Front Galas in 2003 and 2004 and the United Cancer Front Seminar in 2005, all in partnership with Louis Vuitton.

In 2019 Lilly and husband Bruce Karatz co-founded the Dance or Donate for United Cancer Front, continuing her life-long commitment to raising money that results in new targeted cancer therapies.

DR. DENNIS SLAMON, M.D. Ph.D., Founder/Chief Medical Advisor for the United Cancer Front

Dr. Dennis Slamon received his Ph.D. in cell biology and M.D. from the University of Chicago in 1975. His Ph.D. work involved the study of the Kirsten sarcoma virus in the laboratories of Dr. Winston Anderson and Werner Kirsten at that university. After graduation, he went on to complete his internship, residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics then went on to complete his specialty training in Hematology and Oncology at UCLA. He joined the faculty of medicine at UCLA in 1982 where he now serves as Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Medicine and Director for the Division of Clinical/Translational Research at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. He has published more than 270 scientific papers in the area of cancer research. He began his studies on the genes and molecular pathways involved in cancer with his initial work on the expression of these genes in a variety of human malignancies in 1984 published in Science that year. Subsequent early research involved the identification characterization of the proteins encoded by known cancer causing genes in order to better understand how they initiated and/or were involved in the malignant process. He is best known for his work studying the HER2 gene and the role it plays in one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. He led some of the initial preclinical and ultimately clinical research that resulted in the breakthrough treatment, trastuzumab (Herceptin) that is now used worldwide to treat the 20% of human breast cancers in which this pathway is involved. His most recent work resulted in the approval of a new class of agents to treat the most common type of breast cancer, those that are hormonally driven. This class of agents inhibits the cdk-4/6 pathway which is critical in these particular breast cancers and accounts for some 60-65% of this disease. His laboratory has now expanded their research work into identifying new and novel therapies for a number of other human malignancies including ovarian, pancreatic, colorectal and lung cancers.

He has received numerous national and international awards for his research including the Albert & Hinda Rosenthal Award from the AACR in 1999, the Salk Translational Research Award from UCSD, the Bristol-Myers-Squibb Millenium Award in 2000, the Dorothy P. Landon Award from the AACR in 2003, The American Cancer Society Medal of Honor in 2004, the Karnofsky Award from ASCO in 2006, the Lister Award from the University of Glasgow in 2006, the Gairdner Foundation International Award fro Research in 2007, the Warren Alpert Foundation Award from Harvard Medical School in 2007, the MTTC International Award for Molecular Targeted Therapy in 2013, the Hope Fund for Cancer Research Award in 2013, the Hoa Tuo Prize from Dalian University, China in 2016, and the Soberg Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2019.

MICHAEL B. SEDGWICK, Secretary/Treasurer

Mr. Sedgwick received his Bachelor of Science degree from the Leventhal School of Accounting at the University of Southern California.

He joined the accounting firm of Ernst & Young where he rose to the ranks of partner, eventually becoming partner-in-charge of the Century City (Los Angeles) Office.

Mr. Sedgwick left Ernst & Young in 1986 to start his own accounting firm, Sedgwick & Company. Sedgwick & Company is a full service accounting firm serving an elite national client base.

He is the recipient of the Outstanding Accounting Alumni Award and has served on the Board of Counselors at the Marshall School at the University of Southern California.

Mr. Sedgwick is a past president of Los Angeles Chapter (10,000 members) of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and has taught many accounting courses for the Education Foundation of the Society.

He has been a corporate director of many private companies, served as the President of the Thomas V. Jones Family Foundation, and as a director of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Red Cross. Mr. Sedgwick is currently Treasurer of the George Hoag Family Foundation (one of the two founding members of the Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, California), Treasurer of the Northwestern Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, and Secretary and Treasurer of United Cancer Front.