Irvine, Calif., July 5, 2006 -- Sue J. Gross and William H. Gross have made a $10 million gift to UC Irvine to support stem cell research. Two million dollars of the contribution will be immediately allocated to support the Stem Cell Research Center at UCI. The remaining $8 million will come to the university as a matching gift in support of the construction of a proposed Stem Cell Research Center building. UCI plans to apply to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine for a facilities grant to build the structure when funds from Proposition 71 become available.
"We are immensely grateful to Sue and Bill for their generosity and for their belief in the promise of stem cell research for addressing a variety of fundamental questions about human disease," said Chancellor Michael Drake. "This gift will allow UCI to build an outstanding facility in which scientists from around the world may collaborate and propel forward this critical area of research."
Over the last few years, Sue and Bill Gross have developed a keen interest in health care and advances in stem cell research. Aware of their interest, the couple was invited to tour UCI's Reeve-Irvine Research Center last fall by their friends Edward Thorp, a founding UCI faculty member and pioneer in the field of quantitative finance, and attorney Paul Marx and his wife, Monica. The Grosses later became aware of Hans S. Keirstead, an associate professor of anatomy and neurobiology at UCI and one of the nation's pioneers in human embryonic stem cell research, after his work was featured on "60 Minutes" in February. The television news magazine described his use of a treatment derived from human embryonic stem cells to improve mobility in laboratory animals with spinal cord injuries.
Bill Gross is founder and CIO of the Newport Beach-based international investment firm PIMCO. He is one of the world's most prominent bond investors, managing nearly $700 billion in assets. The Gross
Contact: Farnaz Khadem
University of California - Irvine