September 27, 2000



Shiley logoThe University of California, San Diego (UCSD) today announced that it has secured more than $13 million in private support to add space and research facilities to the Donald P. and Darlene V. Shiley Eye Center complex, located on the La Jolla campus near UCSD’s John M. and Sally B. Thornton Hospital. Pending final administrative approvals, the university plans to build state-of-the-art facilities to house retinal and glaucoma research, as well as to expand space for clinical and educational programs.

Four leadership gifts have been made toward this project. These include a commitment from Joan and Irwin Jacobs designated to help support the retinal research center. Also, the Hamilton White Foundation, established by Frances White, Harvey White, and their children, has committed to help fund the glaucoma research center. Donald and Darlene Shiley, longtime benefactors of the ophthalmology department at UCSD, and naming patrons for the eye center, have renewed their commitment by supporting the expansion of clinical and educational programs. A leadership gift has also been made by an anonymous donor.  Numerous other donors have pledged gifts ranging from $50,000 and $500,000.

“The faculty and staff of UCSD’s ophthalmology department are leaders in research and clinical care, and have garnered global recognition for their important contributions in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease and injury. The Shiley Eye Center is without question a remarkable resource, providing the most advanced vision care for the San Diego community, and beyond,” said Robert C. Dynes, UCSD chancellor. “We are deeply grateful to the Jacobs, Whites, Shileys and all our supporters, for their commitment to this project. As we move forward to finalize plans for the expansion, we are thrilled to announce these gifts and to celebrate the accomplishments and vision for this world-class center.”

The Shiley Eye Center opened in 1991 on UCSD’s medical center campus in La Jolla. The 34,000 sq. foot facility contains state-of-the art clinical and surgical space, laboratories and offices for education, research and outreach. More than 40 clinical and basic research projects are being conducted in all areas of ophthalmology. The Abraham Ratner Children’s Eye Center, which opened adjacent to the Shiley Eye Center in 1995, is specially designed and equipped to meet the vision care needs of infants and children.

The new project, currently in the design stages, will include freestanding research facilities containing approximately 26,000 gross square feet, housing two important programs: the Glaucoma Research Center and Retina Research Center. The retina center, directed by William Freeman, M.D., professor of ophthalmology, will be named to honor the Jacobs in recognition of their support, pending appropriate approvals. The glaucoma center is directed by Robert Weinreb, M.D., professor and vice chair of the Department of Ophthalmology.

In addition, approximately 6,000 gross square feet will be built to provide space for expanded clinical services, educational activities and outreach programs.

Project architects are Anshen+Allen Los Angeles.

“This is an exciting time for the Shiley Eye Center,” said Stuart Brown, M.D., chair of the UCSD Department of Ophthalmology and director of the Shiley Eye Center. “The generosity of our benefactors, and the hard work of all those involved in this initiative, will enable us to expand our efforts to improve the prevention, diagnosis and care of eye injuries and vision disorders through basic and clinical research, advanced care, patient support and education.”

“We are extremely grateful to have this level of community participation,” Dynes added. “This type of project is possible only with the support of our community, yet will make a profound impact on people worldwide.”

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Media Contacts: Leslie Franz, (619) 543-6201,

Karen Gajewski, (858) 822-3353,


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