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Sue and Bill Gross kick off $8 million fundraising campaign for UCI

The money raised will finance expansions to the university’s Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center

by Gabriel CortésPublished: October 31, 2012 09:05 AM

UC Irvine has launched an $8 million fundraising campaign to complete expansions to the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center. In an effort to galvanize the campaign, investing magnate and local philanthropist Bill Gross and his wife Sue have promised to match up to $4 million of donations given between now and Nov. 30.

The university will use the newly raised funds to complete construction of new laboratories, client clinics and conference spaces on the top floor of Gross Hall.

Since opening its doors in 2010, the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center has established itself as one of the largest, most technologically advanced stem cell research facilities in the United States. In 2011, its research served as the springboard for the first clinical trial of human neural stem cell-based therapy for chronic spinal cord injury and the first FDA-approved clinical trial using human embryonic stem cells.

“We’re on the brink of finding cures for spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, Huntington’s disease and stroke rehabilitation,” said Peter Donovan, the research center’s director. “Expanding our research center at this time with state-of-the-art lab space and new conference facilities will play a crucial role in speeding up that process.”

Philanthropists Sue and Bill Gross will play a crucial role in this fundraising campaign. The couple also provided the initial $10 million donation that created the research center that bears their name.

“We encourage supporters of stem cell research to donate to this worthwhile cause,” said Sue Gross. “We’re honored to support their efforts in the form of dollar-for-dollar matching funds.”

The Grosses were recently honored with the prestigious UCI Medal. The award recognizes those who have made exceptional contributions to the university’s mission of teaching, research and public service.

Bill Gross is a co-founder of the international investment firm PIMCO.

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