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UC Irvine gets $55M for center on depression research

February 7, 2022 GMT

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — The University of California, Irvine says it has received a $55 million donation that will help develop a center on campus dedicated to research on depression, where experts will study causes and treatment of the disease.

The money was donated by Newport Beach resident Audrey Steele Burnand, as part of her estate. The philanthropist, who died in 2020, earmarked the funds for the sole purpose of researching depression at the university, the Orange County Register reported Monday.

The school will use the money to bring in faculty and pursue research with the goal of understanding the science of depression and create potential treatments, officials said.

The center will incorporate biological sciences, engineering and social sciences, Pramod Khargonekar, vice chancellor for research, told the Register.

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The research hub will be called the Noel Drury M.D. Depression Research Center, named after a psychiatrist who lived in Newport Beach and worked at Hoag Hospital.

Khargonekar said he hoped “to look back in five or 10 years and say, 2022 marks the beginning of research in depression at UCI that is benefiting people afflicted by this disease and their loved ones.”