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St. Louis Character: Dena Ladd keeps the state’s medical research climate comfortable

Oct 13, 2016, 2:30pm CDT St. Louis Business Journal As executive director for Missouri Cures, a medical research advocacy organization, Dena Ladd works with leading medical researchers throughout the United States. It’s not what she had in mind when she started her career in the fashion industry creating training programs for Christian Dior and traveling between New York and Paris. The transition began when Ladd wanted to supplement her “glamour job” at Christian Dior with volunteering in the community. She found that her true passion rested community organizations, so she went back to school to study public policy. That decision and subsequent requests from Dr. William Danforth, Sen. Betty Simms and Rep. Emmy McClelland led her to a career in advocating and creating communication networks for medical researchers and patients in Missouri and across the United States. Ladd has earned the respect of leaders throughout the region for her work, including Danforth who characterized her as, “Very good on the issues and understanding how things work. She is efficient at running a state-wide organization and works well with people. Everyone enjoys working with her.” Bob O’Loughlin, chairman and CEO of Lodging Hospitality Management, said, “Dena is a smart, compassionate person who cares about saving lives through research with Missouri Cures. I’ve known Dena to be well connected and someone who is well respected in the state of Missouri. I have and will continue to support her in the causes she gets involved with in Missouri.” Missouri Cures, the 501(c)(4), and the Missouri Cures Education Foundation, the 501(c)(3), have a combined budget of about $800,000. Ladd and Outreach Director Margaret Tollerton are the only employees of the group. What attracted you to public policy? As I volunteered with various organizations and sat on boards, it seemed like [...]

KEZK 102.5 FM St. Louis – “The Metro Show” with Greg Hewitt interviews Dena Ladd

Listen to Greg Hewitt, host of "The Metro Show", interview Dena Ladd, Executive Director, Missouri Cures Education Foundation: Click here  

Unnecessary politics in tobacco tax initiative

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 6, 2016 I am writing in response to Ms. Linda Rallo's letter "Tobacco initiative is laser-focused on children's health and education." I have been a longtime supporter of Missouri Cures. The organization promotes and protects medical research in Missouri working with the outstanding research institutions in our state. For the last decade, since the 2006 Stem Cell Research and Cures Amendment was passed, Missouri Cures has never sought taxpayer money for stem cell research. As an attorney, I follow and understand ballot initiatives. Why did Raise Your Hands for Kids sneak anti-medical research language into an otherwise straightforward proposal? The two subjects are not even related. Raise Your Hands for Kids can accomplish what they want to accomplish without the unnecessary language against medical research. It is unfortunate that unnecessary politics is put into an otherwise straightforward initiative simply to gain favor and votes with the anti-science community. Eric Westacott  •  Ballwin

Missouri Cures opposes hijacked ballot initiative

Since the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Constitutional Amendment was passed by voters in 2006, anti-research activists have continued to find ways to reverse the medical and economic gains. Their latest attempt has been to insert language in an otherwise attractive ballot proposal, "Raise Your Hand for Kids," that would fund early childhood education with increased tobacco taxes. As long as the RYH4K ballot initiative contains words that stifle the search for better medical treatments, Missouri Cures urges everyone to oppose the RYH4K initiative.   The problem is the very harmful language restricting stem cell research and carving out a constitutional exception to what was passed in the 2006 Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Amendment. Missouri Cures, and our tens of thousands of supporters, have rallied around our effort to make Missouri a science-friendly state. We have consistently and openly opposed similar language when proposed on even the most favorable business development bills, because we fully recognize the harmful effects such language creates. Please read our op-ed that is being published around the state, "Missouri Cures Opposes Hijacked Ballot Initiative" Thank you for your continued support as we work together to move cures and therapies forward! Dena Ladd, Executive Director Margaret Tollerton, Outreach Director Donn Rubin, Chairman

Stem Cell Research is Crucial for Treating Diseases

08/12/2015  Stem cell research is crucial for treating diseases Regarding the letter “Need more details on how stem cell research has saved lives" (Aug. 6): Stem cell research plays an important role as researchers continue to work toward cures and treatments for diseases such as diabetes, spinal cord injuries and macular degeneration. Stem cell research also enables researchers to grow skin for burn victims. Additionally, there is great potential that organs may one day be developed from stem cells, which will reduce the number of patients waiting on transplant lists for donated organs. Medical research using all types of stem cells is critically important in the development of treatments and cures for many diseases. Further, Missouri law prohibits the use of fetal tissue derived from terminated pregnancies in research. Dena Ladd • Clayton Executive Director, Missouri Cures

Missouri Cures in the news – –

  Missouri Cures Education Foundation presents the Cancer Research Symposium Videotaped at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, May 1, 2015 [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpF1NoAR62E] featuring Kim Bland, PhD, Lucas Wartman, MD, Carolyn Henry, DVM, David T. Curiel, MD, PhD.     KTRS interviews Dena Ladd re: Cancer Research Symposium KBIA interviews Margaret Tollerton re: Cancer Research Symposium nineNetwork9: Stay Tuned: Science Innovation (Donn Rubin, Sam Fiorello, Cheryl Schrader discuss regions’ strengths in science)   YouTube links to the interviews from 4.28.15 STL LIVE show: - Dena Ladd Interview (1 of 2) https://youtu.be/oUJZ0OTRnfQ?list=PL197C699713977787 - Dena Ladd Interview (2 of 2) https://youtu.be/0j876L7eHNI?list=PL197C699713977787 - Dr. David T. Curiel Interview (1 of 2) https://youtu.be/D3w-uwjUg7U?list=PL197C699713977787 - Dr. David T. Curiel Interview (2 of 2) https://youtu.be/DEdzmYeIpvU?list=PL197C699713977787 - Debbie Davis Interview https://youtu.be/NULSnr3gXVA?list=PL197C699713977787

Listen to Missouri Cures.Part 2 interview

Hear Dena Ladd talk with Kristi C on Emmis Radio, April 12, 2015 - Click on link. Emmis Radio interview for the May 1, 2015 Cancer Research Symposium (Emmis Radio)

Listen to Charlie Brennen interview Dr. Lukas Wartman on KMOX

Dr. Lukas Wartman, Cancer Survivor and Assistant Professor in the Division of Oncology, Washington University Charlie talks with Dr. Lukas Wartman of Washington Univ. about the May 1st Cancer Research Symposium. Please follow these instructions: -Go to kmox.com/audio -Click on “Charlie and Debbie” -Go to appropriate Tuesday, April 7th interview Click the blue arrow to listen.  

Amendment made human cloning illegal in Missouri

February 19, 2015 Regarding the letter "Abortion proponents try to redefine when life begins" (Feb. 10): The statement that the Amendment 2 campaign in 2006 legalized human cloning is absolutely incorrect. Amendment 2 guarantees that all research taking place on the federal level will remain legal in Missouri, keeping our outstanding research institutions in the state on the same level playing field with the rest of the country. It is important that Missouri has the ability to recruit the best and brightest researchers to our state. This not only moves cures and therapies forward but is also good for Missouri’s economy. Amendment 2 also protects patients and physicians who choose to use therapies that involve stem cell research. Finally, because of Amendment 2, human cloning is now illegal in Missouri. Dena Ladd  •  Clayton Executive director, Missouri Cures

Researcher to examine advancements in stem-cell technology

In Science By David Baugher, special to the Beacon 7:01 am on Fri, 10.19.12 When it comes to stem-cell therapies, Dr. Marie Csete is looking to the future. “What are the best things? Where are the leading edges?” she said. “I’m going to try to make a little bit of a prediction about where the field is going.” In a period of highly charged debate over the controversial topic, those leading edges can sometimes be hard to see. But Missouri Cures Education Foundation believes Csete, who will speak later this month at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, is just the person to point them out. “She’s really the whole package and can talk from every angle,” said Dena Ladd, executive director of the Missouri Cures Education Foundation, which is sponsoring the talk as part of its speakers’ series. “I was also thrilled to finally bring in a female researcher because all of the researchers at our other events have been men.” The noted researcher directs cellular therapy and regenerative medicine activities at AABB, a Bethesda, Md., nonprofit formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks, which represents individuals and institutions involved in transfusion medicine and cellular therapies. A member of the adjunct faculty on the liver transplant team at the University of California-San Diego, she is a former chief scientific officer at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and has conducted extensive stem-cell research as founding director of the Emory University/Georgia Institute of Technology Human Embryonic Stem Cell Core facility. An active member of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, Csete said that future challenges in the maturing area of research will center on issues of standardization, which, while they might sound mundane, are vital to keep front and center if meaningful progress [...]