UC Irvine Health Affairs

Major gift funds research in cancer therapy and regenerative medicine

UC Irvine pharmaceutical sciences professor Young Jik Kwon is awarded $1.25 million for research in cancer therapy and regenerative medicine.
UC Irvine Health Advancement
UC Irvine professor Young Jik Kwon receives $1.25 million for research in cancer therapy and regenerative medicine.

Irvine, Calif., May 1, 2017 — A $1.25-million gift from PharmaResearch Products Co. Ltd. will fund biomaterials research by Young Jik Kwon, a professor in UC Irvine's Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Kwon's BioTherapeutics Engineering Laboratory group has been exploring innovative methods for the efficient and safe delivery of therapeutic molecules such as drugs, nucleic acids and proteins.

With support from PharmaResearch, Kwon hopes to generate novel DNA-based nanoscale biomaterials for the treatment of cancers and degenerative diseases.

"By applying the technologies developed in my laboratory to salmon-derived DNA from PharmaResearch Products, I am confident we will move closer to helping our society live longer, healthier lives," Kwon said.

J. Christopher Smith, associate vice chancellor of UC Irvine Health Advancement. said the donation and corporate partnership can "transform already exceptional programs and enable them to become the very best in the world."

At a campus ceremony to mark the $1.25 million gift, Richard Chamberlin, chair of pharmaceutical sciences, thanked PharmaResearch Products CEO Sang Soo Jung.

Pharmaceutical science professor Young Jik Kwon receives a $1.25-million donation for research in cancer therapy and regenerative medicine.

"We are grateful for this collaboration," Chamberlin said. "We thank them for supporting our shared vision to develop innovative solutions to shape a brighter, healthier future."

(From left to right are Dr. Richard Van Etten, director, UC Irvine Health Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center; Marian Waterman, PhD, professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics; Bert Semler, PhD, director of the UC Irvine Center for Virus Research; Richard Chamberlin, PhD, chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Christopher Smith, associate vice chancellor for UC Irvine Health Advancement, Kwon and Jung.)

About the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences:

The department, established in 2007, offers one the most popular undergraduate programs at UC Irvine, with about 700 Pharmaceutical Sciences majors. The university has become the No. 1 feeder school for pharmacy programs nationally. At the graduate level, there are currently 40 doctoral students studying in the laboratories of the department's widely respected and highly ranked pharmaceutical sciences faculty members.

For more information, contact Tom Vasich at 949-824-6455 or tmvasich@uci.edu.