August 18, 2003

UCSD Receives A $12 Million Gift For
Biomedical Research From Leichtag Family Foundation

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) today announced a $12 million long-term gift from the Leichtag Family Foundation, for biomedical research focusing on childhood diseases.

L. to R. - Dr. Holmes, Toni Leichtag, Lee Leichtag, and Joli Leichtag Andre

With this gift, the UCSD vice chancellor for health sciences will have the discretion to allocate funds to the greatest research priorities within the areas of childhood disease and illness. In recognition of the gift, the new biomedical research building on the School of Medicine campus will be named the Leichtag Family Foundation Biomedical Research Building, pending approval by the Board of Regents.

“We are extraordinarily grateful for this gift from the Leichtag family,” said UCSD Chancellor Robert C. Dynes. “A gift of this magnitude will enable our research to advance at a rapid pace, and will have the profound human impact of increasing our understanding of childhood diseases.”

“By generously supporting efforts to unravel the causes of diseases of infancy and childhood, leading to the development of new treatments, the Leichtag family is making a significant contribution to the health of future generations,” said Edward W. Holmes, Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences. “Since predisposition for many conditions that develop in adulthood can be identified in the earliest stages of life, this research holds the potential for preventing and curing adult diseases as well.”

Lee and Toni Leichtag own M.D. Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and are the co-founders of the Leichtag Family Foundation. Toni is the chair and president of the foundation, Lee serves as the secretary and their daughter Joli Leichtag Andre is the vice chair and vice president.

Lee and Toni Leichtag

“Finding cures for childhood diseases has always been of high importance to our family and of great value to the nation’s future,” said Toni Leichtag. “It will be very exciting and rewarding for us to follow the progress of UCSD’s research.”

The Leichtag Family Foundation is a longtime philanthropic organization in the San Diego community. The Foundation has donated 44 apartments to Seacrest Assisted Living Center; sponsored the C.H.A.M.P. program at Jewish Family Service of San Diego; supports Voices for Children; donated the Healing Garden at Children’s Hospital and Health Center; was one of the original Founders of the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.; donated the Emergency Wing and Women’s Health & Birth Pavilion at Scripps Memorial Hospital, Encinitas; and supports many other local charities.

“Through the research conducted at UCSD it is hoped that new cures will be discovered, and in the process, young research doctors and scientists will be educated, supported and motivated while they seek to advance the health and well-being of children,” said Lee Leichtag.

The Leichtag Family Foundation Biomedical Research Building is a state-of-the-art facility that will provide critically needed laboratory space for UCSD’s expanding biomedical research programs. The five-floor building on the School of Medicine campus contains 140,000 gross square feet. Four of the floors will each accommodate four to seven investigators and their research teams, including four Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists based on the UCSD campus.

Rendering of the Leichtag Family Foundation Biomedical Research Building, scheduled for completion in January 2004.

Designed by architects Zimmer, Gunsul, Frasca Partnership of Portland, Oregon, a dramatic feature of the building will be the airy atrium with a multi-story

sculpture by Ed Carpenter. The building is scheduled for completion in January 2004, and occupancy the following month.

A portion of the Leichtag gift contributes to the $1 billion fund-raising goal of The Campaign for UCSD: Imagine What’s Next, which was publicly launched on March 15, 2003. Campaign priorities include supporting students and faculty through scholarships, fellowships and endowed chairs; creating and expanding academic programs; funding research endeavors and health sciences advancements; and providing innovation funds and unrestricted support. The campaign total is $488.1 million as of July 24, 2003 and is scheduled to conclude in June 2007.

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CONTACTS: Karen M. Gajewski, 858-822-3353,

Leslie Franz, 619-543-5423,