A $10 million gift to USC by a retired ophthalmologist and his wife will boost funding for advanced research into debilitating neurosensory diseases such as blindness, the university announced May 9.
The donation by Dr. Allen Ginsburg and his wife Charlotte will establish a research fund at the USC Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics, which brings together doctors, engineers and other scientists to develop treatments for debilitating blindness and other neurosensory disorders.
In recognition of their gift, the institute will now be named in their honor.
“We are very much inspired by this incredibly generous gift to develop revolutionary solutions for blindness through translating groundbreaking discoveries in the fields of biomedical engineering, stem cell biology, visual sciences and pharmacology,” said Mark Humayun, inaugural director of the USC Ginsburg Institute and a co-director of the USC Roski Eye Institute, in a statement.
Allen Ginsburg, a retired ophthalmologist who lives in Palos Verdes, told USC that the most crushing moments in his career came when he was forced to tell patients they were going blind. After he retired from medicine in 1990, he turned his focus to developing real estate.
The newly named USC Ginsburg Institute was founded in 2015 as an outgrowth from the federally funded Biomimentic MicroElectronic Engineering Center, which developed implantable neural electronics. It has since expanded from bioelectronics to cell- and gene-based therapies, as well as drug treatments.
It is jointly supported by the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the Keck School of Medicine of USC.