$8.5 million gift to expand pioneering genomics research

Chancellor Cynthia K. Larive (Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)
Chancellor Cynthia K. Larive (Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)
Tuesday, October 8, 2019
ucscnews@ucsc.edu (Cynthia K. Larive)

I am delighted to announce that an anonymous donor has gifted our Genomics Institute $8.5 million. The pledge will enable our researchers to expand their pioneering work, to continue unraveling evolutionary riddles, and to take aim at the genetic diseases and disorders that affect humankind.

UC Santa Cruz researchers assembled the first working draft of the human genome sequence two decades ago, then posted it online for scientists worldwide to access. That launched a new era in international biomedical study and cemented our reputation as a world leader in genomics research. This gift, to be paid in annual installments over the next decade, will enhance that reputation, and is made alongside significant new campus investment in our Genomics Institute, which is based in the Baskin School of Engineering.

We have committed to a one-time cash infusion of $1.7 million to cover costs associated with the institute’s relocation to 2300 Delaware Ave. Campus also has agreed to contribute $650,000 to the institute annually over the next 10 years to support its operating budget.

The campus and private contributions will fund not only cutting-edge medical-related research, but new scholarship involving the social sciences, arts, humanities, engineering, and physical and biological sciences. Advancements in genomic research have raised important societal questions around the nature of privacy and consent, for example, and created new ways to look at both our evolutionary past and genetic future. Our researchers are doing impactful, collaborative work on many of these fronts and I could not be more proud — or more excited about what will come next.

I want to thank and congratulate our colleagues in University Relations who worked closely with the donor and with institute leaders to make this gift possible possible.