"Stem cell research brings new hope for finding cures for debilitating diseases and conditions," said Sue Gross. "We are grateful for the opportunity to help facilitate research that will provide vast benefits for the citizens of Orange County and beyond."
"We feel it is important to face your convictions and do the right thing -- even if controversy follows a cause you support," Bill added. "Stem cell research will improve and save lives, and we want to do our part to help make that happen."
With this gift, UCI continues its development as one of the premier centers for stem cell research in Southern California. Earlier this year, the university recruited Peter Donovan, a developmental biologist renowned for pioneering research into the basic properties of stem cells. Donovan, who was previously at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, recently defined critical characteristics of stem cell survival that are expected to guide the next generation of stem cell therapies. In addition, Keirstead announced last month that he will generate up to five new human embryonic stem cell lines to be used for research into treatments for spinal cord injury and diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson's disease.
"This gift is immeasurably important for allowing our talented scientists to continue their work with stem cells, and to recruit more scientists to UCI," said Susan V. Bryant, dean of the School of Biological Sciences. "With current restrictions on federal funding for stem cell research, it is the support and generosity of people like the Grosses that will make treatments and cures based on stem cells a reality that much sooner."