The Ovarian Cancer Circle is a network of individuals committed to our mission, guided by our Board of Directors, gynecological oncologist and medical advisers.
PAULINDA SCHIMMEL BABBINI – President
Paulinda Schimmel Babbini has owned an independent digital imaging business for over 40 years. She is originally from Valley Stream, New York, came to Los Angeles in 1975 and lives in the Hollywood Hills.
As the mother of two beautiful children, her life was turned upside down in 2004 when her 17 year old daughter, Robin was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Robin vigorously fought the battle but lost her dynamic life at the age of 20!
To honor Robin’s memory and shine a light on her legacy, Paulinda founded THE OVARIAN CANCER CIRCLE/INSPIRED BY ROBIN BABBINI.
It is her life’s passion and commitment to heighten awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer to the community, particularly young women. She has committed enormous efforts to fundraising, organizing seminars, women’s conferences, and health fairs.
Paulinda is the recipient of the 2015 Women In Leadership Award given by the City of West Hollywood & the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, an honor that pays tribute to her exemplary leadership, dedication and advocacy on behalf of ovarian cancer awareness and education.
Natalie Mignon – Vice President
Natalie Mignon is a Philanthropists and she cares about what’s going on in the world, and giving back to the community. Natalie has been a Recreation professional for the last 20 years, and has planned and produced many stellar city events. Natalie is no stranger to the entertainment world as she have organized, and conceptualized many Red Carpet charity events in Hollywood for clothing lines, cancer organizations, private functions, and Aids organizations. Natalie is currently the Ambassador for the Hollywood Black Chamber of Commerce, and plans, organizes activities, events, monthly mixers, and advocate chamber services and benefits.
Natalie was very instrumental in producing, and introducing The Los Angeles Culture Festival (LACF) the first of its kind, on the world famous Hollywood Boulevard. Ms. Mignon is on the Committee for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life Event in West Hollywood. She dedicates one day and one night at Relay to stay up for 24 hours because Cancer Never Sleeps and nor will she. Natalie believes in Equal Rights and Marriage Equality, and produced the first LGBT Wedding Expo at the W Hotel in Hollywood. Ms. Mignon plans on taking the LGBT Wedding Expo state to state, and raising awareness for marriage equality.
Natalie’s passions are music, film and the arts. Ms. Mignon is currently managing local Los Angeles based artists, and supports underground artists, in all genres of music. Ms. Mignon worked behind the scenes of an Award winning Web-Series called “Run This Town” doing PR and marketing for the smash hit. Ms. Mignon is very passionate about educating the public about the signs and symptoms of Ovarian Cancer, and finding a test and or cure for this insidious disease. In her spare time she attends concerts, writes poetry, and love finding bargains at Yard Sales and Sample Sales.
Dalia Hayon – Treasurer
Dalia Hayon’s career began in the field of education after she got her teaching degree at Stern College in New York. For 30 years that followed she owned a chain of 14 retail stores, building the business from the ground up and employed 120 people. She also engaged in International Import & Export trading in the U.S., Europe and the Far East. For 2 years she and her husband owned a 100 ft party yacht and was the CFO and event planner.
Sixteen years ago she made another career switch when she became a senior herself. Combining her love for education, business and financing, she has been working as an independent financial Advisor of several law firms in Los Angeles, set up computerized accounting for the Santa Monica Bar Association, traveled with 2 auction companies nationwide as a senior computerized bookkeeper, and dedicates most of her time to working with families and business owners to educate and help design their financial and insurance needs based on HER OWN business experience.
She is also involved in a number of community outreach activities. In 2010 she served as the treasurer of the San Fernando Valley Parkinson’s Association. She is presently the treasurer of The Ovarian Cancer Circle/Inspired by Robin Babbini and serves on the executive board of JNET, the Jewish Business Networking.
Fifteen years ago she co-founded the Women’s Professional Forum, a women’s networking group with Susie Jacobson. This is a platform for women to establish personal relationships that become valuable business connections.
Dalia’s most recent public speaking engagements include: LA Mission College; Pierce College Encore Program; LA Unified; Moorpark Unified; California Physical Therapists Group; Women’s Small Business Expo; JNET; Hair & Makeup Artists Association, to name a few.
She recently published an article in the “Me Magazine” titled “Who Will Take Care of Me?”
She also sits on a number of panels with Elder Care and Estate Planning Attorneys, CPAs and Geriatric Care Managers.
Dalia is happily married for 52 years, a mother of 2 and a proud grandmother of 4.
Barbara Javitz – Secretary
Barbara Javitz is an entertainment industry executive with over 30 years of experience in the creation and distribution of content. Ms. Javitz has concentrated in start-up organizations and project management, specifically in the implementation and facilitation of content throughout distribution platforms.
For more than 15 years, Ms. Javitz has been an active volunteer in the non-profit arena. She is a board member and head of the Beneficiary Committee of Entertainment Aids Alliance, responsible for the creation and implementation of the organization’s overall strategy and its’ key annual fundraiser event. For more than ten years, Ms. Javitz has been a volunteer at SOVA (Jewish Federation Food Pantry).
She mostly currently is the assistant to the director of the North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry, adding to their growth and development.
Ms. Javitz has been a dedicated advocate for ovarian cancer fundraising and education programs for more than 12 years.
Dr. Sanaz Memarzadeh, M.D. Ph.D – The Circle’s Affiliate Gynecologic Oncologist
Sanaz Memarzadeh, M.D. Ph.D. is a gynecologic cancer surgeon and a clinician-scientist who studies two epithelial gynecologic tumors, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. Dr. Memarzadeh and her team are seeking to uncover the causes of ovarian and endometrial tumors and hope to discover the nature and characteristics of normal cells that may be acting as precursors for both cancer types.
The most common sub-types of ovarian and endometrial cancer arise from epithelial cells, a specialized cell layer that lines the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes and the outside of the ovary. Sanaz and her team have identified normal endometrial and fallopian tube stem cells and are investigating how these cells may play a role in initiating gynecologic cancers.
Dr. Memarzadeh received her scientific training at UCLA through the Molecular Biologic Institute. During training, she realized that stem cells were vital not only for their regenerative activity, but also could be efficient targets for tumor formation in response to the cellular signals that can cause cancer. She also learned that the self-renewal pathways for stem cells could be exploited by cancer cells to ensure their survival, and that blocking those signaling pathways could be a useful strategy in treatment of cancer patients. As a womens’ cancer specialist, she decided to focus her studies on stem cells in gynecologic organs and set out to define the role of these cells in initiating gynecologic malignancies.
Her laboratory team has made major progress in identifying a population of ovarian cancer cells that have stem-cell activities. She thinks that these tumor cells are responsible for relapses of disease in women with ovarian cancer. Her team is actively examining characteristics of these cells that can be used in therapy of ovarian cancer. She also thinks that characterization of factors secreted by these cells may lead to discovery of effective biomarkers for early detection these tumors. Collectively, Dr. Memarzadeh and her research team hope that their work will lead to a cure and early detection test for women suffering from ovarian cancer.
An associate professor of gynecologic oncology, Dr. Memarzadeh completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA, followed by a three-year fellowship at UCLA in gynecologic oncology. She was named an assistant professor in 2008 and was recently awarded tenure at UCLA. In addition to her membership with the Broad Stem Cell Research Institute, she is affiliated with the UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. She also is an active member of the Society for Gynecologic Oncology.
Dr. Memarzadeh’s laboratory, The G.O. Discovery lab (www.godiscoverylab.com), is funded by a VA career development grant, generous donations by The Ovarian Cancer Circle/ Inspired by Robin Babbini. (www.theovariancancercircle.org), the American Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health, the Phase One foundation and the Lynn Cohen Foundation. Dr. Memarzadeh’s laboratory is located in the heart of the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center.