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UC San Diego Health System Receives $75 Million Gift to Build New Medical Center

Gift from San Diego philanthropists Joan and Irwin Jacobs to set new course for health care delivery in region

April 01, 2010  |  

The University of California, San Diego announced today that Joan and Irwin Jacobs, with their family, have pledged $75 million to UC San Diego Health System to build the Jacobs Medical Center on UC San Diego’s east campus in La Jolla.

The Jacobs Medical Center will be a 10-story, 490,000 square-foot facility adjacent to UC San Diego Health System’s Thornton Hospital.  It will be home to approximately 245 patient beds and three new hospitals: the Cancer Hospital, the Hospital for Women and Infants, and the Hospital for Advanced Surgery.  With construction commencing by early 2012, the Jacobs Medical Center is slated for completion in June 2016 and will open for patient care in December 2016.


Jacob's rendering

Rendering of The Jacob's Medical Center.


“This generous and visionary gift from Joan and Irwin Jacobs and their family will allow the UC San Diego Health System to become one of the premier destination academic medical centers in the country,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox.  “As a dynamic home for our translational bench-to-bedside research, the Jacobs Medical Center will also serve as an educational space for the next generation of physicians, pharmacists and scientists.”

The Jacobs Medical Center will join a collaborative network at UC San Diego dedicated to interdisciplinary research and education, including the UCSD School of Medicine, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), the Jacobs School of Engineering, the Jacobs Retina Center, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the San Diego Supercomputer Center and the Division of Biological Sciences, as well as the university-based Clinical and Translational Research Institute, the Institute for Engineering in Medicine and the Institute for Genomic Medicine.  The Jacobs Medical Center’s unique environment will integrate basic science, technology, and clinical research with health care delivery to improve the lives of patients.

On March 26, UC San Diego also celebrated the groundbreaking of the new $126 million Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine facility, where faculty from UC San Diego, the Salk Institute, the Sanford-Burnham Institute, and The Scripps Research Institute will join in multi-disciplinary stem cell research.

“We are extremely pleased to support this state-of-the-art medical center which will provide both outstanding care for patients, as well as resources for UC San Diego physicians, researchers and their colleagues across the La Jolla Mesa to rapidly translate medical research into improved health.  Together, they are conceiving new knowledge and creating novel medical technologies every day,” said Irwin Jacobs, co-founder, former chairman and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated, a San Diego-based Fortune 500 company.  Jacobs was also a founding faculty member of UC San Diego, serving as a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering from 1966 to 1972.  Both he and his wife, Joan, have been dedicated advisors as well as donors to the University, and each has served as Board Members of the UC San Diego Foundation. Joan was a cofounder of the Friends of the International Center and the Friends of the Stuart Collection, as well as a long-term board member of the La Jolla Playhouse.

The total estimated cost for the Jacobs Medical Center project is $664 million, with about $350 million coming from external financing, $131 million from philanthropy, and the remainder from state bonds, reserves and capitalized leases.

“This extraordinary gift will allow UC San Diego Health System to deliver expanded and much-needed specialty care to patients in San Diego and beyond,” said David A. Brenner, Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean of the UCSD School of Medicine. “As the region’s only academic medical center, UC San Diego Health System is known for the synergy between our clinical and research missions.  We are committed to integrating the most advanced approaches to personalized medicine, high-risk pregnancies, imaging, surgery and the treatment of cancer into these beautiful new facilities.”

 “The Jacobs’ support of our vision will literally change the landscape of health care in San Diego, and strengthen our ability to serve patients from the region and beyond with services on two campuses, in Hillcrest and La Jolla,” added Tom Jackiewicz, CEO of the UC San Diego Health System.

In 2003, the Jacobs pledged $110 million – the largest gift in the history of the university – to the Jacobs School of Engineering. The $75 million gift announced today is the largest gift ever made to UC San Diego Health Sciences, which also comprises the School of Medicine, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest, Moores UCSD Cancer Center, Shiley Eye Center, and the Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center (scheduled to open in early 2011).

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Media Contact: Debra Kain, 619-543-6163,  

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