News Release

Date: January 18, 2006 

$30 Million Gift From The Skaggs Institute for Research Supports Education, Discovery, and Development of UCSD’s New School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 

 

The University of California, San Diego announced today a $30 million gift from The Skaggs Institute for Research to support the UCSD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The commitment, payable over five years, will support the groundbreaking work of UCSD’s stellar faculty and research efforts. This generous gift will help recruit and develop the next generation of pharmaceutical scientists and pharmacy practitioners who will play a key role in developing new pharmaceuticals and therapies. The school’s pioneering research program emphasizes pharmacogenomics (tailoring drug therapies for patients based on their unique genetic profiles), bioinformatics (managing and analyzing data using advanced computing techniques) and computational drug design.

In recognition of this gift, one of the largest in university history and the largest ever to UCSD Health Sciences, the school will be named the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. L.S. “Sam” Skaggs is nationally recognized as a pioneer in the retail drug store and grocery business and as a generous philanthropist.

“This generous and visionary gift is a cornerstone moment for Pharmaceutical Sciences,” said UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. “This leadership gift will leverage the investment made by the State of California and helps ensure the educational and research goals of the school will have a profound impact on the health and welfare of our greater community.”

Pictured left to right are:
Founding Dean, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Palmer Taylor, Ph.D.; pharmacy student Lisa Mueller; Claudia Skaggs Luttrell of the Skaggs Institute for Research; UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox; and UCSD Vice Chancellor Edward W. Holmes.  They were the first to sign the "topping off" beam in ceremonies Nov. 4, 2004.

“The Board of Trustees of The Skaggs Institute is very pleased to support UCSD’s new School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the first pharmacy school at a research-intensive university to open in 50 years, and the first state-supported pharmacy school in Southern California,” said Claudia Skaggs Luttrell, president of The Skaggs Institute for Research.

“No other school has been so well-positioned geographically with the potential partnerships within our campus and with our neighboring industry and research institutions,” said Edward W. Holmes, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Sciences and dean, UCSD School of Medicine. “These partnerships are complemented by the strong and diverse science at UCSD.  This extends from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where chemists work on natural compounds from the sea, to the respected biology, chemistry, physics and engineering programs on the general campus, with faculty interested in characterizing therapeutic targets, drug design, pharmaceutical formulation and development. The partnership with the School of Medicine provides both unique educational and research opportunities in the broad area of translational medicine.”

“The UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is uniquely positioned to train a new generation of pharmacists as integral members of health care delivery teams and pharmaceutical scientists equipped to develop new therapeutic modalities,” said Palmer Taylor, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Health Sciences and founding dean, UCSD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “Our students hone their patient-care skills during training in a variety of clinical settings shared with UCSD medical students. They are positioned to apply contemporary pharmacogenomics that will be vital for the selection and evaluation of appropriate drug therapy with minimal adverse effects. In addition, UCSD students will be well versed in the development of new pharmaceuticals extending from initial discovery to clinical outcomes.”

The gift from The Skaggs Institute for Research provides $10 million in current use funds for start-up costs for the new school (including recruitment of faculty and purchase of specialized equipment) and support for an auditorium and learning center in the school’s facility, which is currently under construction. In addition, a $20-million endowment will be established, with the expendable distributions used for the school’s highest priorities as determined by the Dean. In the early years of the endowment, its primary purpose is to provide resources for faculty and student recruitment and support.

The UCSD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was established to meet the growing demand for and dramatic changes in pharmaceutical education. This is the only public pharmacy school located in Southern California and one of only two public pharmacy schools in the state.

The first class of 25 students entered in September 2002. At steady state, the school will serve 240 Pharmacy Doctorate (Pharm.D.) students, 60 Ph.D. students and a complement of fellows and residents. The School’s innovative curriculum was designed to prepare students to be leaders in the profession of pharmacy, and provide them with the tools to practice effectively in a wide variety of roles in hospitals and medical centers, community pharmacy settings, academia, government and the pharmaceutical industry. In addition, the pharmaceutical scientist track will produce Pharm.D. and Ph.D. professionals who will participate in drug design and development.

The university is constructing a state-of-the-art, 104,000-square-foot facility for the new school, located in the heart of the UCSD Health Sciences campus. Today, supporters and students signed the last steel beam for the building. The beam will be visible from a stairway once construction is complete.

L. S. “Sam” Skaggs and his wife, Aline, have long been known for their generosity in supporting education, medical research and medical education, human needs, religious and wildlife programs. Their support of pharmacy schools is widely recognized through gifts and scholarships to various universities throughout the United States. The Skaggs, devout Catholics, also have contributed generously to Catholic education through construction of new schools, individual buildings and scholarship programs. In addition, they have made numerous gifts which have enhanced the lives of the poor and the disadvantaged. The couple attributes their love and concern for the poor to the example set by Mother Teresa of Calcutta whom they knew personally. Her mission was to care for the “poorest of the poor.” In 1999 Pope John Paul honored Sam and Aline Skaggs. Sam received the high honor as a Knight of St. Gregory the Great and Aline was given the high honor as Lady of St. Gregory the Great.

Mr. Skaggs also served on many Corporate and Charitable boards, and held several civic, state and national positions, which included serving as President of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Washington D.C., for three years.

This gift contributes to the $1 billion fund-raising goal of The Campaign for UCSD: Imagine What’s Next. 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 amount raised to date is $656 million. The campaign is scheduled to conclude in June 2007.

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Media contacts:
Sue Pondrom, 619-543-6163, spondrom@ucsd.edu
Lindsay Orth, 858-822-5309, lorth@ucsd.edu

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