Initiative Links Celebrities to Cancer Research

Elizabeth Berkley ("Showgirls," "Saved by the Bell") said she is attracted by the "fast track" aspect of the initiative. Her godmother died of breast cancer.

"It's a gimme that people would just come out and support this," said Jimmy Smits ("L.A. Law," "NYPD Blue"), who said his cousin had breast cancer.

While it typically takes a year to get a research grant funded by the government, according to the initiative leaders, they hope to work more quickly. Only about one in 10 of grant proposals get funded by the government, according to the initiative leaders, so they are also hoping to fund research proposals that until now have gone unfunded.

Exactly how much money will be awarded the first year is unknown; it will depend on how much is raised beyond the initial $10 million donated by Major League Baseball.

More information

To learn more about the initiative, visit the Stand Up to Cancer.

SOURCES: May 28, 2008, press conference with Sherry Lansing, former chairwoman, Motion Picture Group, Paramount Pictures, Allan "Bud" Selig, commissioner, Major League Baseball, Elizabeth Berkley, actress, Jimmy Smits, actor, The Paley Center for Media, Beverly Hills, Calif.

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