STAND IN: Leonard Lauder has found himself in a new role and he’s beginning to like it. During the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s annual awards luncheon Wednesday, the time came when the organization’s founder and leader, Evelyn H. Lauder, usually steps up to the podium. Instead, husband Leonard stepped into the spotlight. “Yes, I am Evelyn Lauder’s stand-in,” he told the crowd filling the Waldorf-Astoria ballroom. “I learned my job from Prince Philip,” Lauder added with his trademark, beaming grin, referring to Queen Elizabeth II’s husband. Lauder had explained his wife’s absence at another event last week as a case of her being under the weather. She may not have felt well Wednesday either, but her husband acknowledged that he had been given his marching orders. “Evelyn sends you her greetings and my instructions,” he deadpanned.
Later, when asked how he likes his new gig, the chairman emeritus of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. replied, “I’m proud of our 52-year marriage. I’m proud of what she has accomplished and I would be happy to go through life as Mr. Evelyn Lauder.”
The BCRF handed out a total of $36.5 million in grants to 186 researchers. Despite the lingering grip of the recession, the BCRF managed to raise a record $41 million in the last fiscal year ended June 30, according to president Myra J. Biblowit, Richard H. Anderson, chief executive officer of Delta, received the Sandra Taub Humanitarian Award. Mina J. Bissell, who holds the title of Distinguished Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, was given the Jill Rose Award for Distinguished Scientific Achievement. A recap of the morning panel discussion of scientists was given by Larry Norton, scientific director and chairman of the executive board of scientific advisers of the BCRF as well as deputy physician in chief overseeing breast cancer programs at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The current thinking in research involves understanding the dynamics of cancer. “It’s all about relationships,” he said. A new way of making a diagnosis, Dr. Norton added, requires an understanding how cellular components connect.