NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Sant Returns for Annual Thanksgiving Concert

Smiling, Sant holds his violin and bow standing in front of blue NIH banner.
A beaming Sant after his performance

Photo:  janice duran

Caesar plays the violin alongside Collins, who is playing the guitar.
Giving thanks: Caesar Sant, age 15, performs solo and with former NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins (l) on guitar

Photo:  janice duran

Wide shot shows Sant on violin, Collins on guitar and Masi on piano in the Clinical Center atrium.
NIH trio: Collins (l), Sant and Masi (r) perform together at their third Thanksgiving concert at the Clinical Center.

Photo:  janice duran

Collins, Caesar (holding his violin) and Masi stand together for a photo in front of a blue backdrop
Caesar performed with former NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins (l) on guitar and Robert Masi (r), a former NCI research fellow and current Harvard medical student, on piano.

Photo:  Dana Talesnik

Caesar Sant, 15, returned to the Clinical Center on Nov. 20 to play violin at his third Thanksgiving concert, giving thanks to his clinical team for the life-changing treatment that cured his sickle cell disease. Sant—at times accompanied by former NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins on guitar and former National Cancer Institute postbac Robert Masi on piano—performed several Bach pieces and two original compositions.

Collins called the event “the best way I can think of to celebrate Thanksgiving—which is to have an opportunity to give thanks for the combination of talents of a remarkable young violinist, Caesar Sant, and NIH, which has given Caesar a lease on life after his bone marrow transplant two years ago.” He said Caesar’s story is a prime example of how music can help with resilience and healing.

For more on Caesar's story, see: Young SCA Patient is Pain-Free Following Transplant

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

Published 25 times each year, it comes out on payday Fridays.

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Staff Writer: Amber Snyder (link sends e-mail)