The University of California, San Diego today announced a $5 million gift from locally based medical device company, ResMed Inc., to support sleep medicine research and care at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. The donation was made to the university in honor of ResMed’s founder and chairman of the board, Peter C. Farrell, PhD, DSc. ResMed is the global leader in pioneering new and innovative solutions for the diagnosis, treatment and management of sleep-disordered breathing, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other key chronic diseases.
The funding, totaling $5 million, will establish the Peter C. Farrell Sleep Center of Excellence, in addition to the Peter C. Farrell Presidential Chair in Pulmonary Medicine. ResMed’s donation to establish the endowed chair was matched with an additional $500,000 from the University of California as part of the UC system’s Presidential Match for Endowed Chairs.
“We are truly grateful to ResMed for their generous gift to fuel research in sleep medicine at UC San Diego,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Support from industry partners, such as ResMed, is a key driver that allows UC San Diego to remain at the forefront of health care. Private support allows the campus to translate discoveries in a wide range of specialties into enhanced treatments and cures for our patients.”
The Peter C. Farrell Sleep Center of Excellence will focus on research, clinical trials and patient care for sleep disorders—an area of treatment that is expanding with technological advancements that allow for home sleep testing and monitoring. Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, plague at least an estimated 30 million people in the United States. While most cases go undiagnosed, the effects of sleep disorders go far beyond a restless night of sleep. Studies link sleep apnea to serious conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, atrial fibrillation and COPD. A growing body of evidence also shows an association between sleep disorders and cancer risk.
“Sleep disorders make up a critical area of medicine that needs further investigation and increased awareness,” said Mick Farrell, CEO of ResMed. “Sleep apnea and COPD are two of the most expensive and undertreated diseases in the world. ResMed is pleased to support UC San Diego in developing a leading center to advance the fields of sleep apnea and COPD research. This gift will help the university play a critical role in furthering our mission of changing millions of lives around the world, with every breath.”
In addition to driving innovative research and patient care, the Peter C. Farrell Sleep Center of Excellence will also include teleconference technology to train physicians and scientists around the globe in the diagnosis and treatment of such disorders.
“At the UC San Diego School of Medicine, our vision is to create a world-class center for the evaluation and care of patients with sleep disorders,” said David A. Brenner, MD, vice chancellor for Health Sciences and dean of the UC San Diego School of Medicine. “This is a gift with both local and international impact. The center will not only enhance sleep medicine care for more local patients, but it will also help build knowledge and understanding of this important field of medicine around the globe.”
In addition to providing critical funding for the Sleep Center of Excellence, ResMed’s gift also establishes the Peter C. Farrell Presidential Chair in Pulmonary Medicine, which will support the chair holder’s research and teaching. The chair holder has yet to be selected.
Endowed chairs provide a dedicated source of funds, in perpetuity, for chair holders’ scholarly activities, as well as support for faculty salaries and graduate and post-doctoral fellowships. A prestigious recognition of outstanding scholarship, an endowed chair also helps attract and retain some of the world’s top minds to UC San Diego.
“We are so appreciative to ResMed for their visionary leadership in supporting progress in this field,” said Atul Malhotra, MD, chief of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and director of Sleep Medicine at UC San Diego Health. “Our goal is to develop new and better treatments for sleep disorders, which ultimately may help prevent stroke and heart attack. In addition, the endowed chair will help us recruit a world expert in sleep medicine, which will make our program even stronger and more impactful.”
UC San Diego was ranked 6th in the nation by US News & World Report for pulmonology, a specialty area which includes care for patients with sleep-disordered breathing.
“ResMed is delighted to support this vital area of clinical research which has been neglected and underappreciated for far too long,” said Peter C. Farrell. “I’m excited about the future prospects for this new Sleep Center of Excellence at UC San Diego.”
Giving to UC San Diego
The University of California, San Diego is a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public institution that provides opportunity for all. Recognized as one of the top 15 research universities worldwide and born of a culture of collaboration, UC San Diego sparks discoveries that advance society, drive economic growth and positively impact the world. Our students, who learn from Nobel laureates, MacArthur Fellows and National Academy members, are committed to public service. For the sixth consecutive year, UC San Diego has been ranked first in the nation based on research, civic engagement and social mobility. We are thankful for visionary philanthropists who join us in our quest to transform lives, shape new disciplines and advance the frontiers of knowledge. Learn more at www.giving.ucsd.edu.