News in Brief

Landmark Child Health Study Bolstered by $26 Million Award

Among the many generous gifts granted to UC Irvine this year, the campus received $25.9 million last Thursday from the National Institutes of Health to expand the National Children’s Study to the San Diego and San Bernardino counties. The study is a long-term investigation that assesses the effects of environmental and genetic factors on child health.
UCI has been a part of the National Children’s Study for two years. The latest donation will establish the Southern California Study Center (SOCA), where UCI researchers will work with scientists from UC San Diego, San Diego State University, Loma Linda University and Cal State University San Bernardino on this effort.
The National Children’s Study plans to follow a representative sample of 105,000 children throughout the nation from before birth to the age of 21 to find information to be able to identify the underlying genetic and environmental causes of the nation’s most significant child health issues, including diabetes, asthma, autism, ADHD and obesity. SOCA researchers will be responsible for recruiting 3,000 participants and collecting data in the largest study of child health and development ever conducted in the nation. The Orange County team is responsible for 1,000 families and will begin recruiting for the study in 2008.
The $26 million from the National Institutes of Health was awarded in addition to a previous gift of $14.6 million, which was given to UCI in 2005 in order to establish the Orange County, California Vanguard Center of the National Children’s Study.

UCI Law School Receives $1 Million From Trial Attorney

UC Irvine’s new law school received a generous $1 million gift from attorney Mark Robinson, founder and senior partner of the personal injury firm Robinson, Calcagnie & Robinson in Newport Beach, Calif.
The gift establishes an endowment fund to be used at the discretion of the new dean of the UCI law school, Erwin Chemerinsky.
Previous law school contributors include local billionaire Donald Bren, who in August donated $20 million to create an endowment fund for the salaries of the dean and 11 faculty members.
In May, UCI also received a $1 million gift from the Joan Irvine Smith and Athalie R. Clarke Foundation for the establishment of a law library.

Conference to Discuss Ethics and Science of Stem Cells

On Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 8 and 9, respectively, UC Irvine will be the destination for visitors of the ‘Therapeutic Cloning: Where Do We Go From Here’ conference at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering.
UCI scientists Douglas Wallace, Susan Bryant and Peter Donovan will be organizing this event, which will feature Ian Wilmut, a prominent embryologist who led the scientific team that cloned Dolly the sheep. Wilmut will join several renowned biologists to discuss the science and ethics of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), a process which consists of a patient’s DNA being transplanted into a donated unfertilized egg cell with the goal of generating stem cell lines with the same genetic makeup of the patient.
The conference is scheduled to take place on Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Oct. 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.