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Prominent Baltimore Couples to Lend Support to Nation’s #1 Respiratory Hospital at Bella Sera: A Beautiful Evening on June 23


Baltimore community leaders Alyson and John Friedman and Pat and Robert Parker will host an elegant cocktail party on June 23 at The Suburban Club in Baltimore to raise awareness and funds for the nation’s #1 respiratory hospital, National Jewish Health.


Fran and Jon Matz will serve as associate hosts for the Bella Sera cocktail party, which includes hors d’oeuvres and live music. Committee members for the event include Mary Malas Aiello, Tom DeLiberto, Charles Franklin, Lois and Dick Hug, Karen and David Hutcheon, Azam Khan, and Annette and Matt Mardiney. World-renowned researchers Philippa Marrack, PhD, and Baltimore native John Kappler, PhD, who attended Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, will speak about their basic immunology research at National Jewish Health, for which they have won numerous national and international awards.

National Jewish Health is a leader in the treatment and research of respiratory, cardiac, immune and related diseases, attracting patients worldwide for care. Over the last three years, about 30 percent of the hospital’s visits came from outside Colorado, including more than 200 from Maryland. LungLine®, a free information service staffed by registered nurses, has fielded 1.3 million calls, including more than 15,000 from Maryland residents, since it began in 1983.

Tickets to Bella Sera: A Beautiful Evening begin at $200 per person, with sponsorships beginning at $500 per couple. For more information about sponsorships or to attend the event, contact Marilyn Blair at 703.519.5760 or via email at

John Kappler, PhD and Philippa Marrack, PhD
For more than 30 years, Drs. Kappler and Marrack’s joint research has focused primarily on the T cell, an immune-system cell that recognizes foreign substances in the body and orchestrates the adaptive immune response. Among other accomplishments, Drs. Kappler and Marrack discovered the T-cell receptor, the crucial element that recognizes foreign substances in the body, and superantigens, extremely virulent toxins that cause an overwhelming and disastrous immune response, such as that which occurs in toxic shock syndrome.

In recent years, Drs. Kappler and Marrack have focused on understanding memory cells, the T cells that help jumpstart an immune response the second time the immune system encounters a pathogen, and how additives to vaccines, called adjuvants, enhance the development of memory T cells. They also study how T cells bind to and recognize antigens in autoimmunity and allergy. These and other discoveries have made Drs. Kappler and Marrack two of the most influential immunologists in the world.

Over the years they have won numerous honors, including election to the Institute of Medicine, considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.


National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 125 years ago as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of children and adults with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and families come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive, coordinated care. To learn more, visit the media resources page.

We have many faculty members, from bench scientists to clinicians, who can speak on almost any aspect of respiratory, immune, cardiac and gastrointestinal disease as well as lung cancer and basic immunology.

Our team is available to arrange interviews, discuss events and story ideas.m