The University of California, Irvine has announced a $5 million gift from the Chao family to the UC Irvine Health Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center to establish two endowed chairs.
The gift from siblings Allen Chao, Agnes Kung, Phylis Hsia, and Richard Chao and their spouses will honor two leukemia researchers. Renowned for his groundbreaking research on chronic myeloid leukemia, Richard Van Etten, the center's director, will be awarded the Chao Family Endowed Director's Chair in Cancer Research & Treatment, while Susan O'Brien, the center's associate director for clinical science and medical director of the Sue & Ralph Stern Center for Cancer Clinical Trials & Research, will receive the Chao Family Endowed Chair for Cancer Clinical Science.
Research funded by the gift initially will focus on supporting infrastructure for a new UC Irvine Health program in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation as a therapy for blood cancers such as leukemia, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma. In future years, the gift will support research on the genetic links to cancer — when and how mutations can lead to disease and how to identify and address potential conditions before symptoms appear. With the gift, the Chao family has committed more than $29.5 million in support of the center.
"From our father, who owned a pharmaceutical company, to the children in our family who chose health-related careers, three generations of the Chao family have been involved in keeping people healthy," said Allen Chao, CEO of Tanvex BioPharma. "It is important to our family to give back to the community. We are pleased to partner with UC Irvine Health to move important cancer research forward and to give residents local access to nationally recognized physicians and potentially lifesaving treatments."