University Kidney Research Organization (UKRO) will honor a stellar group of USC academic and scientific leaders at its sixth gala dinner on March 18 at The Beverly Hilton. This group of vocal champions of kidney disease research includes Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Quick, PhD; scientist Andrew McMahon, PhD; surgeon Robert Selby, MD; and physician Yasir Qazi, MD. The evening will raise funds for the USC/UKRO Kidney Research Center at the Keck School of Medicine of USC (KSOM). Renowned soprano Elisabetta Russo will provide entertainment, while Phillip Palmer, KABC-TV (Channel 7) Eyewitness News anchor, will emcee.

At the gala, UKRO will present its award for Extraordinary Achievement in Academic Leadership to Quick. As the university’s second-ranking officer, Quick is focused on tackling the “wicked problems” confronting the 21st century, faculty and student access and opportunity, educational value and affordability, and global impact.

McMahon, who serves as director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the Keck School, will receive the Extraordinary Achievement in Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research Award. Selby and Qazi together will receive the Extraordinary Achievement in Kidney Transplantation Award. Selby is the division chief for hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery and abdominal organ transplantation. Qazi is the medical director of the kidney-pancreas transplant program at Keck Medical Center of USC.

Sponsorship packages and tickets for the UKRO Benefit Dinner are still available. For more information, please contact Mann Productions at (323) 314-7000 or