The largest award went to City of Hope, which received $100 million from research pioneer Arthur Riggs.
A longtime director of the organization’s Diabetes and Metabolism Institute, the 81-year-old Riggs has amassed sizeable wealth from multiple patents he holds.
Including the latest gift, Riggs has now given $310 million to City of Hope.
His previous donations had been anonymous. Riggs said he decided to go public with his current gift in hopes of encouraging others to contribute to Duarte-based City of Hope’s “fight against diabetes and cancer.”
City of Hope renamed its diabetes research center in honor of Riggs. Drugs developed using his technology include Herceptin, Rituxan and Keytruda.
The other substantial donation last week went to UCLA Health. Former ophthalmologist turned real estate investor Allen Ginsburg and his wife, Charlotte, gifted $29 million to create a program for genetic medical research and treatment at the university.
UCLA’s new Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg Center for Precision Genomic Medicine will focus on the role of genetics in disease. The goal is to invite researchers and doctors to the center where they will develop therapies for various genetic disorders.
Ginsburg retired from ophthalmology in 1990 to concentrate on real estate development. His wife is a noted benefactor of performing arts institutions.
In recent years, the Ginsburgs have turned to philanthropical efforts, including a $10 million gift to USC in 2018 to establish a research fund at the school’s Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics.
The Ginsburgs also gave an undisclosed donation in 2020 to help fund a 98,000-square-foot computer science center at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering.
The couple’s UCLA gift also creates the Ginsburg Research Fellowship and an annual symposium at the school, which includes an emphasis on population genetics research and ethics.
UCLA Chancellor Gene Block praised the Ginsburgs for “their remarkable vision and generosity,” as well as their “confidence in UCLA’s capacity for innovation.”
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