California Couple Donates $10M to University for Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 6, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Couple Donates $10M to University for Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 6, 2006

Irvine, CA ( — A California couple has donated $10 million to the University of California campus at Irvine for embryonic stem cell research. Some $2 million of the donation from Newport Beach couple Sue and Bill Gross will be earmarked for research while the rest will help the college as a matching gift to build a new research facility.

"We are immensely grateful to Sue and Bill (Gross) for their generosity and for their belief in the promise of stem cell research for addressing a variety of fundamental questions about human disease," UCI Chancellor Michael Drake said in response to the gift.

"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," Drake added, according to a statement obtained.

Gross and his wife are the founders of international investment firm PIMCO. Bill Gross is one of the world’s most prominent bond investors, managing nearly $700 billion in assets.

They toured the Irvine campus last fall and became acquainted with the human embryonic stem cell research of Hans Keirstead.

“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.”

However, embryonic stem cell research has yet to produce a single cure and is nowhere close to being ready to be used to treat patients. On the other hand, adult stem cell research has already yielded more than 70 treatments for dozens of diseases and conditions.