Stop At Nothing
To be at the forefront of medicine.
To inspire change in your community.
To lead the way to a cure for cancer.
To create a brilliant future.
As one of the nation’s premier public research universities and Orange County’s only academic health system, we stop at nothing to improve lives through groundbreaking research, academic achievement, thoughtful public service, exceptional patient care and cutting-edge treatments.
Learn about the impact we are making in our communities, our region and the world as we build a brighter tomorrow, for everyone.
UCI is fiercely dedicated to its mission to catalyze the community and enhance lives through rigorous academics and cutting-edge discoveries. Here are a few of our latest accomplishments.
Stop at nothing to tackle climate change
UCI Solved the Ozone Problem. We will Stop at Nothing to Tackle Climate Change. Last year, the New York Times Editorial Board used research from UC Irvine as the primary example of how scientific discovery can create transformative outcomes. When chemistry professor Sherry Rowland and his postdoc Mario Molina showed that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) deplete ozone they helped to launch a campaign that literally saved the world. Following their discovery, several changes in policy took effect in the U.S. and in 1987 the world agreed on the Montreal Protocol, a global arrangement to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances. Fast forward to 2019 — the ozone hole was the smallest on record since its discovery.
This inspirational UCI success story continues to shape the university today. Among our top priorities is to provide solutions to the problem of climate change, an effort that unites our world-class climate scientists, chemists, biologists, engineers, humanities scholars and social scientists as we explore bold ideas in fusion energy, carbon capture and policy implications and more.
Fighting Fires with Artificial Intelligence
Shane Coffield and a team of UCI Scientists have developed a way to predict the final size of wildfires using machine learning.
UCI is home to a new kind of firefighting squad. But rather than a hose or pickaxe, their tool of choice is an advanced algorithm. A team of university scientists have successfully applied the emerging field of machine learning to predict which wildfires pose the greatest threat to people, wildlife and property. Their work is especially vital for California where fires have caused massive destruction with greater frequency.
“Consider what makes something go viral on social media, what properties of a tweet or post make it blow up – and how you might predict that at the moment it’s posted.” Shane Coffield, UCI doctoral student
Identifying and weighing key data points at an event’s beginning to project its final outcome, is the idea behind the team’s application of artificial intelligence to fire prediction. Their algorithm analyzes factors on climate conditions and vegetation at a fire’s starting point to predict its final size, with a current success rate of 50 percent.
It’s possible for people to run such calculations manually. However, as the project’s lead author Shane Coffield states, their machine-learning system is “really much faster and more efficient, especially for considering multiple fires simultaneously.”
Better predictive data can be invaluable in helping increasingly overtaxed firefighting authorities allocate their scarce resources, especially in the case of multiple, concurrent fire outbreaks. “Only a few are going to get really big and account for most of the burned area. We’re focused on identifying specific ignitions that pose the greatest risk of getting out of control,” says Coffield.
The team used Alaska as a study area for its rash of concurrent fires. However, cluster outbreaks are also afflicting The Golden State with greater frequency, a tragic effect of the Earth’s changing climate. Seven of the state’s ten most-destructive fires have occurred in the past decade. “Camp Fire” in 2018 was California’s most-devastating wildfire by far, killing 86, burning over 150,000 acres and devastating countless wildlife species.
As fires, including cluster outbreaks, occur with increasing frequency, the innovation of the UCI team could be an important aid in promoting community safety. Here’s to their efforts, and to more-effective firefighting through math and science.Give to UCI: Campus, The UCI Fund
Why science needs the humanities to solve climate change
Large wildfires in the arctic and intense heat waves in Europe are just the latest evidence that climate change is becoming the defining event of our time. Unlike other periods that came and went, such as the 1960s or the dot-com boom, an era of unchecked climate change will lead to complex and irreversible changes in Earth’s life support systems.
Many people view climate change as a scientific issue – a matter of physical, biological and technical systems. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent assessment report, for example, is a vast compendium of climate science, threats and potential solutions.
Yet modern climate change is also a human problem caused by the collective behaviors of people – mostly the wealthy – around the world. Japanese economist Yoichi Kaya summarizes this viewpoint in an elegant equation known as the Kaya Identity: Global greenhouse gas emissions are the product not just of energy use and technology, but also human population size and economic activity.
Of course, science is essential for understanding climate change, and technology is critical for solving the problem. But the IPCC report spends little more than 10 pages on climate ethics, social justice and human values. We worry that overemphasis on science may hamper the design of effective climate solutions.
In our view, solving the world’s climate problems will require tapping into brainpower beyond science. That’s why the two of us – an ecologist and a humanities dean – are teaming up to rethink climate solutions. Recently we developed a program to embed humanities graduate students in science teams, an idea that climate research centers are also exploring.
Scholars in the humanities interpret human history, literature and imagery to figure out how people make sense of their world. Humanists challenge others to consider what makes a good life, and pose uncomfortable questions – for example, “Good for whom?” and “At whose expense?”
Going beyond science, humanists can define cultural forces driving climate change, such as the fossil fuel dependence of industrialized societies.
In her book, “Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century,” literature scholar Stephanie LeMenager asserts that 20th-century culture – novels, poetry, films, photography and television – generated a mythology of “petro-utopia.” Images of gushing oil derricks implied that the American good life meant unfettered consumption of fossil fuels.
Popular culture, land use and economics reflected this ideal, particularly in California. Even as the Golden State strives to lead the nation in combating climate change, the legacy of petro-culture endures in suburban sprawl and jammed freeways.
Humanist scholars like LeMenager help to uncover the root causes of complex problems. Yes, rising carbon dioxide levels trap more heat in the atmosphere – but values matter too. Defining features of American identity, such as independence, freedom, mobility and self-reliance, have become entangled with petroleum consumption.
When thinking about climate solutions, people often picture technical fixes. The IPCC reports list many ideas for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation reduces greenhouse gas emissions through technologies like renewable energy. Adaptation, such as building sea walls, aims to manage climate change impacts. It also includes schemes to engineer Earth’s climate system – for example, releasing chemicals into the stratosphere to reflect sunlight back into space.
In principle, scientists and engineers could deploy any of these fixes. But should they? To answer this question, society needs humanists and their “soft” technologies – intangible tools for solving problems based on nonscientific knowledge.
Cultural scholars and philosophers can inject ethical principles into policymaking. Relative to emissions reductions, expensive adaptation schemes are less likely to benefit indigenous populations, future generations and the poor – the groups that are most vulnerable to climate change.
Humanists can also help decision makers see how history and culture affect policy options. Plans to improve fuel economy will need to address the historical bond between petroleum and personal freedom. Alternatively, humanity could keep burning fossil fuels while trying to capture the emissions. Yet some societies might balk at the high costs of relatively unproven carbon capture technologies.
So far, scientific facts have not motivated Americans to support the huge societal transformations needed to stop climate change. Some reject the scientific consensus on global warming because it makes them feel bad or clashes with their personal experience of the weather.
Climate change matters more when it affects people’s homes, livelihoods and spiritual beliefs. Recent protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline are an example. Opponents condemned the desecration of Native American burial sites and called out violations of historical land treaties dating back 150 years. To them, the pipeline was not just a source of greenhouse gases. It was a threat to their ideals and spirituality.
By tapping into what moves people, the emerging field of environmental humanities can help spur climate action. Scholars of history, philosophy, religious studies, literature and media are exploring many aspects of humans’ relationship with the Earth. An entire literary genre of climate fiction, or “Cli-Fi,” depicts often-apocalyptic visions of climate impacts on humanity. Social scientists have worked out how civilizations like the ancient Maya and medieval Icelanders dealt with climate shocks.
Together with scientists, environmental humanists are reforming scenarios used in climate modeling. Scenarios originated as an improvisational form of theater, and humanists are reclaiming them as a rehearsal space for the massive societal shifts required to avert dangerous climate change.
We think that stronger collaborations across the humanities and sciences are key for effective climate solutions. Still, there are hurdles to overcome. Humanists have been criticized for failing to apply their expertise to environmental problems outside academic circles. For their part, scientists need to respect humanists as scholars in the their own right, not just clever translators of hard science.
In our view, it’s time for scientists, engineers and humanists to break down these barriers and appreciate the human element of global climate change.
Steven D. Allison, Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine
Tyrus Miller, Dean, School of Humanities, University of California, Irvine
Research Team Fights Back Against 11 Billion Pieces of Deadly Ocean Plastic
Underwater exploration is more like dumpster diving with the staggering amount of debris scattered among colorful creatures and plants.
What do diapers, Barbie dolls, tires and tea bags have in common? They're among the 11 billion pieces of plastic waste littering coral reefs across the Asia-Pacific, a number anticipated to reach 17 billion by 2025.
Some debris can surprisingly wreak more havoc than those currently in the pollution spotlight. Take plastic straws: They've swept international news headlines, but discarded fishing lines and nets can be even more damaging after becoming entangled with coral.
It's all part of the in-depth research conducted by Joleah Lamb, a UCI assistant professor of ecology and biology. She was the first to link ocean disease to deadly bacteria, which hitchhike aboard plastic debris and attach to coral reefs.
The numbers are staggering: Corals in contact with plastic are 20 times more susceptible to disease. This is a critical threat to the environment and human health, as the introduction of plastic breeds bacteria in coral reefs linked to diseases like dysentery and cholera.
Lamb's underwater survey does more than just put numbers on a chart. It’s allowed UCI researchers to push boundaries and find novel solutions to combat the looming threat of this deadly duo. Follow Lamb’s tour of international waters and learn about progress made to save coral reefs from plastics and bacteria:
In Indonesia, Lamb's team found that seagrass has antimicrobial properties that can serve as a first line of defense. It not only traps debris, but also disinfects plastic waste. As a result, pharmaceutical companies are looking into seagrass as an antimicrobial agent.
Explosives and plastic bottles in Myanmar are threatening protected coral reefs. Lamb’s lab group set up underwater listening devices to track illegal dynamite fishing, recording an average of 80 blasts a day.
Stateside, they planted cages of mussels in 50 spots around Seattle's Puget Sound. The study will help determine if eelgrass — a species of seagrass — will protect mollusks from plastic litter pathogens.
Here in Southern California, an ongoing study of our coast and rivers will reveal how much microplastic ends up in wastewater.
"The main focus of the lab is to look at how global ocean health and human health are related,” Lamb says, “and to identify ways that marine ecosystems naturally reduce waterborne disease outbreaks.”Give to UCI: Campus, The UCI Fund
Can socioeconomic factors play a role in how populations manage the effects of coastal flooding?
When it comes addressing climate change perhaps of the biggest challenges is showing how this environmental concern impacts our daily lives right here in California. Thanks to the research efforts of the University of California Irvine and three other UC campuses, a more accurate picture of climate change, and in particular coastal flooding, will soon be available.
Launched with funding from the National Science Foundation’s Coastlines & People initiative, the UCI-led effort will employ advanced simulation systems to deepen the understanding of increasing flood risks within the state’s two most at risk areas- Greater Los Angeles and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
To frame how climate change is increasing the risk of coastal flooding, Brett Sanders, UCI Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, recently commented on what is quickly becoming a serious threat to the socioeconomic balance of our state. “Coastal flooding poses major challenges worldwide that are worsening with climate change and the continued expansion of coastal cities. Over just the past few years, the U.S. has suffered hundreds of billions of dollars in losses from flooding disasters linked to hurricanes and intense rainfall, and both the delta and L.A. metro regions are vulnerable to flooding disasters.”
In the early stages of the project, Sanders and other scientists at UCI’s Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation will combine fine-resolution computer simulations with exposure data to assess the likely range of effects coastal flooding will have on populations and infrastructure. Researchers from UCI, UC Berkeley, UC Riverside and UC San Diego will then use that information to gauge how flooding impacts will be distributed across social strata, and what the implications would be for governance within and across impacted communities.Give to UCI: Campus, The UCI Fund
Explore our vision and consider partnering with us so that, together, we can forge a brilliant future — for our region, for our nation, for our world.Give to UCI: Campus, The UCI Fund
Stop at Nothing to Give Passion a Greater Purpose
Riding an Entrepreneurial Wave
“This thing shreds!”
“This is sick!”
“So unbelievably stoked!”
This is the praise rolling in from skateboarders across 30 countries who love UCI undergraduate Patrick Dumas’ invention: a simple adapter that makes skateboarding feel more like surfing.
The adapter went from prototype to patented technology to internationally marketed product with the help of experts and funding available through the Wayfinder program at UCI Beall Applied Innovation – an incubator that connects UC-affiliated startups with resources needed to launch, grow and succeed.
Dumas learned to ride the waves growing up in Huntington Beach, California, and took up skateboarding at UCI. Like many skaters, he craved the tighter turns and faster curves of surfing on waves, but that feeling required pricey specialty skateboards.
One day, after a friend bet he couldn’t do it, Dumas set out to create a skateboard adapter for less than $20. Using scrap metal and a few screws, he built his first Surf Adapter.
Studying business information management – a cross-disciplinary program of both The Paul Merage School of Business and the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences – Dumas understood business fundamentals. But he knew he needed help to take his startup, Waterborne Skateboards, to the next level.
Through the Cove, Applied Innovation’s headquarters, Dumas connected with Wayfinder, learned how to pitch and secured investments from the Cove Fund. Most importantly, he gained mentors such as Ken Fairbanks, an Innovation Advisor at the Cove.
“The biggest resource at the Cove is people – entrepreneurs and investors,” Dumas says. “These are people who have spent time in industry and who know how it works.”
Cove advisors helped him raise $42,000 on Kickstarter, and today, sales of Waterborne’s Surf Adapter continue growing exponentially, fueled by a partnership with Australia-based Penny Skateboards, which sells millions of units in 60 countries. Penny recently launched a new line of boards featuring Waterborne’s patented technology.
“Waterborne Skateboards has long surpassed all of my initial expectations for scale and success,” says Dumas, who doesn’t have to worry about job hunting when he graduates this year. “And it’s all thanks to mentorship from some key individuals at the Cove.”Give to UCI: Campus, The UCI Fund
Immersing Language Learners Through Virtual Reality
UCI Beall Applied Innovation’s Wayfinder incubator program is home to a startup that’s leveraging commercial VR tech to revolutionize language learning.
UCI connects new technologies with the marketplace through UCI Beall Applied Innovation’s Wayfinder Incubator, a program dedicated to progressing UC’s startup companies. Immerse, one such tech startup, is using virtual reality (VR) to disrupt the vital field of language learning.
Says Immerse CEO Quinn Taber, a UCI Continuing Education alum, “One of the best ways to maximize retention is to have as many different memory pathways as possible.”
Continues Chief Product Officer Jacob Furnari, “It’s effective to learn through video chat. Our thought was, ‘How can we take that to the next level?’ Virtual reality is the natural next step.”
Both Immerse executives experienced firsthand the advantage of total immersion in gaining language skills.
“I was in a street market, and this Bedouin woman said ‘apple’ in Arabic,” says Taber. “I was like ‘huh?’ and then she takes a bite and then sticks it in my mouth…for the rest of my life, I never will forget that term.”
Through utilizing the Oculus Go wireless VR gaming headset, Immerse enables students to learn language skills in a 360-degree virtual environment. The headset is affordable for most learners, and works without a computer.
Equipped headsets are sent to students the world over. Right in their homes, learners can interact with a trained instructor in virtual locations across the globe. “As a Japanese student to be transported to California for an hour to practice English – that’s pretty powerful,” says Furnari.
The Immerse team works out of UCI Beall Applied Innovation offices, where they enjoy the support of fellow entrepreneurs and assistance of an army of energetic UCI interns. They also call upon the sage advice of the program’s Innovation Advisors. “You realize quickly how much you don’t know when starting a startup. And the innovation advisors have been integral to filling in the many gaps we had as a company,” says Furnari.
The program has also afforded the cofounders the chance to present at university-sponsored investor events. One such presentation lead to their largest contract yet with a Chinese company. In fact, Immerse sees Asian corporations as its primary growth market, due to the region’s high interest in learning English.
It’s fitting that Southern California is the site of the next wave of language education. California is the country’s most diverse state. Its population speaks at least 220 languages, with over 40 percent of households speaking a language other than English. Through helping birth innovative startups like Immerse, UCI is keeping the Golden State on the leading edge of an ever-shrinking world.Give to UCI: Campus, The UCI Fund
Saving Lives Through Biomedical Engineering
Cactus Medical is providing lifesaving devices based on technologies spun from the labs of UCI Professor/Entrepreneur Extraordinaire Elliot Botvinick.
Behind secure-access passageways at the UCI’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering lie several labs developing inventions that could save the lives of millions. Elliot Botvinick, Ph.D., professor of biomedical engineering, leads a team of researchers working to develop innovative, non-invasive devices for instant detection of multiple life-threatening conditions.
Professor Botvinick is a powerhouse of innovation with more than 20 inventions and four patents to his name. His method for rapid, non-invasive detection of ear infection in children led to the creation of Cactus Medical, a startup to market the technology. Much like a standard ear scope, his device features a “magic button” giving clinicians a metric that determines whether a child has middle ear effusion, or a build-up of fluid behind the ear drum. An often overlooked condition, if left untreated, it can cause pain, affect hearing and even require surgery.
“Elliot has a real knack for entrepreneurship,” says Sean White, Cactus Medical cofounder. “He builds companies to leverage [his technologies] in the best way possible.”
As if one extra-curricular venture weren’t enough, Botvinick has launched Fieldionics, Inc. to market a detection device for Type 1 diabetes and sepsis. He became aware for such rapid detection in 2016 after hearing a speaker talk about the need for a technology that can help save injured soldiers who pass away despite normal vital signs.
Professor Botvinick and his prolific labs are supported by the ready resources of UCI Beall Applied Innovation.
“It’s a close relationship allowing us to use patent attorneys and just being involved every step of the way,” Professor. Botvinick says. “When I speak to my colleagues at other universities, they simply don’t have this experience. Richard [Sudek – Executive Director of Applied Innovation] has created something special and rare.”
Both Cactus Medical and Fieldionics are well on their way toward full commercialization. Professor Botvinick and Professor Ali Mohraz, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, recently received a grant to develop an insulin infusion set with greater lifetime and faster delivery.
“If the infusion set works, we have every intention of disrupting that market. It’s a multibillion-dollar one,” says Professor Botvinick.
If his ventures find success, Professor Botvinick intends to push for the construction of a specialized biomedical engineering building at UCI.
He summarizes, “My main focus is to keep the snowball going…and ultimately having people who are smarter than me invent better things, get them commercialized and save people’s lives.”Give to UCI: Campus, The UCI Fund
Instant, Accurate Detection of Colon Cancer Through AI
Docbot is improving speed and accuracy of polyp detection through advanced software leveraging UCI’s massive database.
Andrew Ninh, cofounder and CEO of Docbot, first realized the problem of human error in healthcare just before his 18th birthday. He suffered a lung infection and was rushed to the E/R where he was treated and released. Only later was it learned that his heart rate significantly dropped during the night. A computer system alerted his nurses, but they ignored the alarm due its common occurrence.
“I didn’t understand that much about healthcare back then, but I knew there was a big opportunity because human error was a problem,” says Ninh.
Years later when he met William Karnes, MD, UCI Health gastroenterologist, and professor of gastroenterology at the UCI School of Medicine, the two realized there was a way to reduce human error in one area of medicine -- colon cancer detection. The duo endeavored to apply artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning to UCI’s wealth of colonoscopy data to develop a better way of detecting life-threatening polyps.
“When I first met Andrew, I realized that all the data we were collecting could also create a report,” says Dr. Karnes.
Ninh and Dr. Karnes cofounded Docbot to market their software solution that automates detection of colon cancer. Through using AI machine learning and their massive database, they’ve cut diagnosis time from two weeks or more to mere milliseconds, while improving on accuracy rates of human diagnosis. “Docbot is a super expanded beautiful version of what we originally created,” says Dr. Karnes.
While the technology’s rapid detection eliminates the time necessary to send pathogen samples to a lab, Docbot can also lower spiraling medical expenses.
“If our AI tells us what it is with a high degree of certainty, then we don’t have to send to pathology, therefore saving $1 billion a year in healthcare expenses,” says Dr. Karnes.
The team utilizes UCI Beall Applied Innovation’s resources such as licensing officers, office space and the Wayfinder incubator, a program dedicated to helping budding UCI startups.
Docbot’s technology is currently implemented at UCI Medical Center and a growing list of hospitals and ambulatory centers throughout SoCal. As their AI solution finds its way into as many hospitals as possible, they aim to adapt their platform to other areas of healthcare.
“There are a number of other fields that are image intensive,” says Dr. Karnes. The team sees pulmonology and bronchoscopy as a prime area of expansion.
With the support and association of UCI, dynamic startups like Docbot are keeping the region firmly on the leading edge of life-saving innovation.Give to UCI: Campus, The UCI Fund
Learn More about UCI Beall Applied Innovation
Brings campus-based discoveries together with Orange County’s vibrant business community to support job creation and economic growth. To make this happen, UCI Beall Applied Innovation facilitates connections between UCI and industry, including: entrepreneurs seeking access to university inventions and talent, large corporations looking to tap the school’s research capabilities, and investors wanting to financially support promising new companies. Additionally, UCI Beall Applied Innovation is working to cultivate an “innovation district” in the heart of Orange County, producing more start-ups, more scale-ups, and, ultimately, a world-class entrepreneurial ecosystem.
What Makes UCI Beall Applied Innovation Unique?
Every aspect of UCI Beall Applied Innovation has been designed with a focus on the business community. Whether it's moving at the speed of business or creating an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship, UCI Beall Applied Innovation understands that bringing great innovation to market requires a very intentional approach to industry engagement.
The Sky’s the Limit at the Cove
UCI Beall Applied Innovation’s new three-story location is built for success.
The new home of UCI Beall Applied Innovation is a three-story, 100,000-plus-square-foot facility in UCI Research Park with specially designed spaces to accommodate all manner of innovators. Over twice the size of the previous location and no longer split between two buildings, the Cove @ UCI is even better equipped to be the preeminent gathering place for Orange County’s vibrant business and innovation communities.
The Beach is a purpose-built event space that can accommodate over 300 guests and features 180 degrees of seamless display technology that can easily play content in any configuration. This inviting, ultramodern space is the new home for large events at the Cove, including seminars, meetings, conferences, panels, networking dinners and workshops.
Venture Cove (A, B, C)
Venture Cove is a dedicated pitching, screening and presentation space that features a high-resolution, wall-size screen and seating for up to 200 guests, combined. The space was designed to accommodate all presentation, video conferencing, recording and livestreaming requirements and can be split into three separate rooms of varying sizes.
Longboard Lounge & Tiki Bar
The Longboard Lounge is a relaxed space that can be used to entertain guests or serve as a space for poster sessions. In addition to the Longboard Lounge, the Tiki Bar – a fully designed entertainment space with a wet bar and indoor and outdoor seating – can also be utilized in conjunction with the Beach and Venture Cove as a break area, networking space and to serve guests.
The makerspace at the Cove offers entrepreneurs the space and equipment to build prototypes. From 3D printers and laser cutters to soldering equipment and power tools, the makerspace has what it takes to bring an idea from concept to reality.
Convergence Optical Sciences Initiative (COSI)
Helmed by Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy Chris Barty, the COSI lab aims to develop and commercialize biophotonics technologies for human health, research and medical devices. The 10,000-square-foot space features laser labs and office space for researchers and includes a state-of-the-art linear particle accelerator among other advanced technologies.
UCI Beall Applied Innovation Staff
Applied Innovation staff – now all under one roof – are better equipped to develop entrepreneurial programs, assist with grant proposals, license technologies, meet with faculty and startups, and foster the collaborative atmosphere of the Cove.
More space at the Cove also means more offices for Cove tenants and ecosystem partners. The on-site presence of tenants and ecosystem partners allows for chance encounters and interactions between entrepreneurs of all stages, which can lead to meaningful connections and partnerships. The scale of collaboration at the Cove has never been greater than it is now.
University Lab Partners Wet Lab
The wet lab space by University Lab Partners, a nonprofit program of the Beall Family Foundation, provides economical wet lab and office space to local innovators. Rather than travel to San Diego or Los Angeles to access wet labs, startups in Southern California can more easily access this in-demand and much-needed resource within the heart of Orange County.Give to UCI: Campus, The UCI Fund
UCI innovators are creating brighter futures every day. With your generous support, UCI Beall Applied Innovation will continue to lead Southern California as a globally recognized hub of innovation and entrepreneurship.Give to UCI: Campus, The UCI Fund
Stop at Nothing to Never Lose Sight of What Matters
Extending the boundaries of vision science, to the peak of medical recognition
UCI professor Krzysztof Palczewski has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine.
Dr. Palczewski came to UCI from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland to establish the Center for Translational Vision Research at the UCI Gavin Herbert Eye Institute. Part of the UCI School of Medicine, the center is devoted to translating scientific discoveries into clinical treatments. As his election to NAM testifies, the leading edge of vision science lies squarely in Irvine.
Over his illustrious career, UCI professor of physiology & biophysics Krzysztof Palczewski has received six international awards, gained 29 patents and authored works cited over 46,000 times. Now there’s one more recognition to add to his extensive list, membership in the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). It’s a well-earned honor for a world-class vision scientist and recognition of his 30-year endeavor to uncover the causes of degenerative eye disease.
“I feel deeply honored…This distinction further encourages us to give our very best to developing therapeutics against blinding diseases,”
Dr. Krzysztof Palczewski, member, National Academy of Medicine
NAM was founded in 1970 under the congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences. Its mandate is to provide objective, science-based recommendations on critical issues affecting the US and the world. Dr. Palczewski is one of 100 global inductees, selected for their outstanding professional achievements and commitment to public service. His election makes UCI home to 42 collective members of the national academies.
Applying his expertise in chemistry and pharmacology, Dr. Palczewski and his team are forging a path toward new therapies for age-related macular and retinal degeneration. By uncovering the properties of light-receptor proteins, they’re facilitating treatment of eye disease at the molecular level. Their work is particularly relevant to California where the number of residents aged 65 and over is expected to double over next two decades.
“UCI is poised to lead cutting-edge research and deliver innovative treatments for the millions robbed of their sight,”Give to UCI: School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology
Baruch D. Kupperman, chair of ophthalmology.
About the UCI Gavin Herbert Eye Institute
UCI's Gavin Herbert Eye Institute and Department of Ophthalmology, our faculty of internationally recognized physicians, surgeons and scientists provide highly specialized training to future ophthalmologists, access to leading-edge clinical trials as well as sight-saving treatments and therapies for virtually any eye disorder.
Eye surgeons, stem cell researchers, geneticists, infectious disease specialists and engineers are working on technologies and treatments for macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, corneal disease and cataracts as well as a vaccine to prevent eye and genital herpes infections. These efforts have vaulted UC Irvine School of Medicine into the top echelons of U.S. institutions receiving National Institutes of Health grants for vision research.
It is part of the institute's academic mission to work collaboratively with the eye-care industry in Orange County, which has highest concentration of technology and pharmaceutical companies devoted to vision care. Our goal is to spark innovation and continue to revolutionize patient care.
The range and depth of clinical and scientific expertise among faculty members, many of whom regularly appear on the list of the nation's "Best Doctors," enable the institute to offer the most advanced training and treatment in the following areas:
- Cataract, corneal surgery/external disease and refractive surgery
- Comprehensive ophthalmology and ocular pathology
- Corneal and retinal disorders
- Laser treatment and research
- Molecular immunology and virology
- Oculofacial plastics and orbital surgery
- Ocular oncology
- Pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus
- Uveitis and ocular inflammation
- Vitreoretinal surgery and retinal diseases
The institute's world-class team of ophthalmologists and researchers is dedicated to meeting the complex medical and surgical eye-care needs of residents in Orange County and the surrounding region.Give to UCI: School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology
Leading-edge clinical trials and sight-saving treatments
You can count on receiving the highest quality eye care at the UCI Health Gavin Herbert Eye Institute because our ophthalmologists are at the forefront of advances in treating vision problems.
- Our team includes pioneers in the development and use of ophthalmic lasers and refractive surgery techniques. Their work has formed the foundations of LASIK surgery, the development of the blade-less IntraLase™ laser and the most advanced techniques for corneal transplants and intraocular lens implants.
- Our team has made critical advances in treating age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people over age 55. We are the only eye care center in Orange County restore vision to patients with end-stage macular degeneration with tiny telescope implants.
- Our surgeons, stem cell researchers, geneticists, infectious disease specialists and engineers are working on technologies and treatments for diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, corneal disease and cataracts, as well as a vaccine to prevent eye and genital herpes infections.
- We also are international leaders in glaucoma implant surgery, having developed many of the techniques and technologies used around the world today. Our team also includes specialists in neuro-ophthalmology, ocular oncology, oculofacial plastics and orbital surgery.
- These efforts have vaulted the institute into the top echelons of U.S. institutions receiving National Institutes of Health grants for vision research.
Help support one of the world's premier eye research, teaching and patient care centers right here in Orange County.Give to UCI: School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology
At UCI, we stop at nothing to deliver the extraordinary
With world-changing research and innovative approaches, we’re redefining what’s possible across science, healthcare, academics, and the arts. We’re propelling students toward their dreams and elevating entire communities. We’re solving humanity’s greatest challenges while exploring what makes us human.
In our ongoing commitment to give the world a Brilliant Future, the University of California, Irvine has launched the largest philanthropic and alumni engagement endeavor in the history of Orange County—a campaign to raise $2 billion.
Over the last 50 years, state funding plus tuition have built UCI into one of the top 10 public universities in the country. But major decreases in state support have led to a new financial reality for the UC system.
At a time when less than 10 percent of UCI’s budget comes from the state, a gift to UCI is a powerful investment in an unstoppable force working to improve and enrich people’s lives.
Together, gifts of all sizes add up to make a huge difference on our campus, the state and beyond.
We invite you to explore our vision and consider partnering with us so that, together, we can forge a brilliant future — for our region, for our nation, for our world.
ADVANCING THE AMERICAN DREAM
#1 university nationwide doing the most to advance upward mobility for individuals across communities.Learn More about advancing the American dream
TRANSFORMING HEALTHCARE AND WELLNESS
Revolutionizing medicine through discoveries that advance patient care and healing throughout the world.Learn More about transforming healthcare and wellness
ACCELERATING WORLD CHANGING RESEARCH
Combining expertise across disciplines to create solutions for the world’s greatest challenges.Learn More about accelerating world changing research
EXPLORING THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE
Celebrating and illuminating what makes us human from creativity and art to the cultures that shape us.Learn More about exploring the human experience
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