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W.M. Keck Foundation gives USC $110 million

Largest Gift Ever Given to a Medical School

School to be Renamed in Honor of Gift and Expand Neurogenetic Research on Brain Function and Disease

Total Investment of $1.5 Billion in East Los Angeles Area Anticipated

The University of Southern California announced today that it has received a gift of $110 million from the W.M. Keck Foundation. This is the largest gift in history ever made to a medical school.

USC, which has committed to raising an additional $330 million in matching funds, will name its medical school the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California to recognize the generosity of the foundation. A large portion of the gift will be invested in neurogenetics, with a major focus on degenerative diseases of the brain.

USC President Steven B. Sample, observing that neurological and psychiatric illnesses currently afflict more than 50 million Americans and have a $600 billion per year impact on the economy, called the Keck gift "of inestimable importance to USC and the nation."

"The Keck Foundation has always been ahead of its time," Sample said. "For over four decades, the foundation has been a leader in funding bold scientific endeavors in medicine, engineering, higher education and of course, astronomy, with the W.M. Keck Observatory and its two magnificent telescopes that have deepened our understanding of the universe while firing our imaginations.

"Now the foundation has seized on the incredible opportunity to focus its resources and ours on improving the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases that afflict people of all ages, but particularly the elderly. This is a far-sighted ambition with potentially enormous benefits.

"This gift will enable us to enhance USC's entire health sciences program and the quality of health care throughout our community. We are pleased and proud that the foundation has recognized USC's growing strengths in the biom
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Contact: Brenda Maceo
maceo@hsc.usc.edu
323 442 2830
University of Southern California
30-Jul-1999


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