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San Diego Biotech Research Firm Gets $275M Gift From Anonymous Donor

An anonymous $275 million donation to the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute was announced Tuesday.

The gift is the largest ever in San Diego County and puts Sanford-Burnham well on its way to its goal of raising $500 million in 10 years.

The gift, meant to help the institute reach goals outlined in a new 10-year strategic plan, will be payable over the coming decade, according to Sanford-Burnham, which provides research into the molecular causes of disease, like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and childhood illnesses.


According to the new "strategic vision," Sanford-Burnham will accelerate its research into the fundamental mechanisms of human biology and disease, and development of innovative, personalized therapeutic approaches.

Existing and new partnerships with healthcare organizations such as Mayo Clinic, Florida Hospital, and Sanford Health will foster two-way communication between basic and clinical researchers that will inform their work and ensure that basic science is grounded in clinical reality, according to Sanford-Burnham.

"Our ultimate goal is to translate basic research discoveries into innovative therapeutics that have a tangible impact on people's lives," Dr. Kristiina Vuori, Sanford-Burnham's president and interim CEO, said. "Our strategic vision will enable us to speed cures to patients through an expanded network of partnerships with organizations that share our mission to conquer disease."

The $275-million gift comes at a time when medical research organizations are relying more on private funding and competition for public dollars is more intense.

"This exceptional generosity sets our vision in motion, and cements the stature of Sanford-Burnham as a global leader in translational biomedical research," Gregory Lucier, chairman of the institute's Board of Trustees and chairman and CEO of Life Technologies, said.