The University of Virginia in Charlottesville has announced a $25 million gift from Richmond-based Philip Morris USA — the largest corporate gift to date to the school's $3 billion Campaign for the University — to create a partnership between the two organizations that will support research on addiction and youth smoking.
Approximately $20 million of the gift will be used to fund research and projects in the UVA School of Medicine aimed at preventing youth smoking, improving the effectiveness of smoking-cessation programs, and reducing the harm caused by smoking. Additional research is expected to increase knowledge of the psychological and physiological basis of addictions and how diseases associated with smoking progress. The remaining $5 million of the gift will expand the company's partnership with the McIntire School of Commerce in leadership development and recruitment.
"The gift supports research that may ultimately prevent or cure addictions and serious diseases, such as lung cancer, heart disease, and emphysema," said UVA president John T. Casteen III. "Faculty researchers here are engaged in ground-breaking molecular research aimed at identifying the genes that make certain people susceptible to chemical and nicotine dependencies."