The University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, has announced a gift of $5 million from pharmaceutical entrepreneur and alumna Jie Du to establish a center for drug innovation in its Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy.
The gift in support of the Jie Du Center for Innovation and Excellence in Drug Development will be matched by the university's Powell Fund Match, which was established through a gift of $125 million from the estate of the late regents Robert C. and Jeannette Powell, doubling the impact of Du's gift and resulting in a $10 million endowment for the School of Pharmacy. The Du Center will work to promote innovation in drug development with students acquiring skills in pharmaceutical regulation, entrepreneurship, and the drug development business. In addition to Pacific students, programs offered at the center will be open to alumni and scientists currently working in the industry.
"I wanted to do something that would make a meaningful difference for Pacific students," said Du. "When I started my American life as a young student at Pacific who barely spoke English, I never dreamed that one day I could contribute to the success of the university's School of Pharmacy. I'm deeply grateful for the education I received and this opportunity to prepare Pacific students as they embark on careers in pharmaceutical drug development and business."
"Innovation is a precious commodity for the cutting-edge, highly competitive pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries," said Bhaskara R. Jasti, professor of pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry at the university. "We are excited the center will provide a platform for entrepreneurial innovators to translate their ideas into products that improve the well-being of patients."