University of California Establishes Charitable Foundation in Hong Kong, Receives Generous Donation to Establish Chair at UCLA

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Amy Albin
(310) 794-8672

The University of California is pleased to announce the establishment of University of California Foundation Limited, a qualified charitable organization in Hong Kong. One of the first gifts received, a generous donation from William E. (Chip) Connor and family, will establish an endowed chair in cardiothoracic transplantation surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

The University of California Foundation has been certified by Hong Kong's Inland Revenue Department as a recognized charitable organization under the tax rules of Hong Kong, providing full deductibility in Hong Kong for donations received benefiting all campuses of the University of California. The foundation will also enhance the university's ability to support and provide programs, projects and initiatives between UC and universities in Hong Kong and China.

The Connor Administrative Chair will provide leadership for ongoing surgical research in heart and lung transplantation for adult and pediatric patients with end-stage heart and lung diseases, as well as research to define the mechanisms of the body's immune responses to transplanted organs. Research on chronic rejection in heart and lung transplantation will be a primary focus, including cardiac allograft vasculopathy and reperfusion injury in heart and lung transplantation.

"Chip's generous gift to UCLA's cardiothoracic transplant program will help lead to exciting breakthroughs in the field of heart and lung transplantation," said Dr. Ronald Busuttil, who holds UCLA's William P. Longmire Jr. Chair in Surgery and is professor and executive chair of the department of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "We applaud his commitment supporting the work of our dedicated researchers and improving the lives of patients in need of lifesaving organ transplants."

UCLA's adult and pediatric heart transplant program, one of the largest and most respected programs in the world, performs about 80 to 90 transplants each year. The UCLA lung transplant program, which performs about 60 to 65 transplants a year, boasts one the best survival outcomes in the country, thanks to a modified perfusion technique developed at UCLA. The transplant team at UCLA has pioneered many new techniques to further improve outcomes for heart and lung transplant patients.

Connor lives in Hong Kong, is married and has three sons. He is chairman and chief executive officer of privately held William E. Connor & Associates Ltd., a merchandise sourcing company representing many department stores, specialty stores, catalog and e-retailers, and importers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and Australia. The company specializes in fashion-related goods, housewares, furniture and office products.

The endowed chair is part of UCLA's Ensuring Academic Excellence initiative, a five‑year effort aimed at generating $250 million in private commitments specifically for the recruitment and retention of the very best faculty and graduate students. The initiative was launched in June 2004 and its goals include $100 million to fund 100 new endowed chairs for faculty across campus, increasing the number to 331.

For more information about UCLA's cardiothoracic transplant program, please visit www.surgery.ucla.edu.

For more information about the University of California Foundation Limited, or to make a donation, please write to the University of California Foundation at: Level 3, Three Pacific Place, One Queen's Road East, Hong Kong SAR.

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Media Contact:
Amy Albin
(310) 794-8672
[email protected]