Biotech entrepreneur donates $50 million to UC Irvine School of Biological Sciences

16.06.24 00:00 Uhr

Gift from Ambry Genetics founder Charlie Dunlop to advance academics, research

IRVINE, Calif., June 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of California, Irvine has received a $50 million donation from Orange County biotech entrepreneur Charlie Dunlop for the School of Biological Sciences. His gift will create an endowed fund that will provide unrestricted support for academic and research activities within the school.

In honor of Dunlop's transformative contributions and pioneering spirit in biology and medicine, UC Irvine will rename the school the Charlie Dunlop School of Biological Sciences, setting an inspiring example for future students to innovate and apply groundbreaking discoveries.

Dunlop is one of the leading biotech scientists and entrepreneurs in Orange County. He founded Ambry Genetics in 1999 in a small office above a Harley-Davidson motorcycle shop after raising about $500,000 from friends and family.

The company became a pioneer in genetic testing and is the first in the world to offer such tests as hereditary cancer panels and clinical exome sequencing. Additionally, Dunlop championed the open sharing of genetic data. This openness has revolutionized the industry and catalyzed advancements in health sciences globally. During his time at Ambry, Dunlop found UC Irvine to be a valuable source of scientific personnel, regularly hiring biological sciences graduates. Dunlop was president and chairman of the board of Ambry Genetics until it was sold to Konica Minolta in 2017.

 "UC Irvine is a huge asset to California, to the community and to Irvine," Dunlop said. "It would have been impossible to build a business like Ambry without UC Irvine and the higher education system in California. My focus is biology because it is the kind of science where dedication at the bench translates directly to success. My experiences with children's hospitals reaffirm the critical importance of our science. Whether aiding sick patients, supporting ecosystems or conducting basic research, the advancement of our field is vital. This is why I have chosen to make this contribution."

With over 4,000 undergraduates and 300 graduate students, the Charlie Dunlop School of Biological Sciences is currently one of the largest academic units at UC Irvine. Multidisciplinary research and academic opportunities exist in the areas of cancer and infectious diseases, developmental biology and genetics, environmental and evolutionary studies, mechanisms of gene expression, neurodegeneration, learning and memory disorders, structural biology, stem cell therapies, and science education.

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SOURCE Regents of the University of California on behalf of the University of California, Irvine