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A Model for Research Success

When private giving leverages public funding, amazing things happen.
Students in the lab of Mark Sussman, Ph.D., director of SDSU's Integrated Regenerative Research Institute.
Students in the lab of Mark Sussman, Ph.D., director of SDSU's Integrated Regenerative Research Institute.
The combination of public and private support for higher education can take research to a whole new level or expand a modest program into one that benefits dozens of students.

The Campaign for SDSU
is an opportunity for donors to invest in some of the most promising research projects and student support programs in the country.

Gifts to the campaign have already reached $360 million, strengthening academics, innovation, entrepreneurship, global studies and student support.

An early example of private philanthropy building on public support was Darlene Shiley’s gift to expand SDSU’s BioScience Center and rename it in honor of her late husband, Donald P. Shiley, inventor of the Bjork-Shiley heart valve.

The Shiley BioScience Center is the first dedicated research building in the California State University system. Opened in 2006 with three of its five floors built out, the center initially housed four federally funded researchers.

Shiley’s gift in 2008 financed the completion of additional lab space.  The next year, the center added five immunologists whose discoveries include the development of a vaccine that can prevent influenza or reduce severity of the infection if given after the flu exposure.  Researchers in the Shiley BioScience Center have received more than $10 million in federal funding to advance their groundbreaking work.

“Our scientists are working to understand how chronic conditions such as obesity or gum disease can lead to inflammation that accelerates heart disease,” said Roberta Gottlieb, M.D., director of the center.

“Discoveries from our animal studies and patient-based investigations are paving the way for new therapeutic approaches. Additional support to create a specialized facility for translational research will catapult these studies into the clinical realm.”

There are dozens of funded SDSU programs and research projects poised to advance in size and scope with an injection of donor funds.

One example is the Shiley BioScience Center. Another is the new Integrated Regenerative Research Institute (IRRI), whose biology and engineering specialists have a proven track record of integrating research from a fundamental stage through commercial development.

IRRI director Mark Sussman, Ph.D., has been supported since 1995 by funding from the National Institutes of Health. Private philanthropy would enable Sussman to accelerate his groundbreaking cardiovascular research and mentor additional SDU students.
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