Victoria Sork quote
Victoria Sork
Dean Sork sees the Terasaki Building fostering interdisciplinary study that the complex fields of life science require.

Transforming 21st Century Discovery

The Terasaki Life Sciences Building and the Paul I. Terasaki Chair in Surgery
Life sciences are the foundation of so much of the discovery that takes place at UCLA, and they are key to solving some of the world’s most vexing maladies, including diabetes, arteriosclerosis and cancer. So it is imperative that the university provide state-of-the-science facilities in which life scientists and their collaborators can conduct the basic research that underlies so many advancements.

Now, thanks to alumnus and emeritus professor Paul Terasaki ’50, M.A. ’52, Ph.D. ’56, UCLA offers just such a place, an expansive space filled with the very latest in scientific and computational equipment. Terasaki, who in 1964 developed the test that became the international standard in tissue typing for organ donors and recipients, gave $50 million, including $48 million for the Terasaki Life Sciences Building in the heart of the campus’ science corridor. The remaining $2 million endowed the Paul I. Terasaki Chair in Surgery.

“This gift enables us to accelerate the movement from deep research to applications to societal benefit, and to make those transitions seamlessly,” says Life Sciences Dean Victoria Sork. “Finding new cures, addressing issues of immune response, transplantation - all start with understanding biological processes, and that’s what life sciences does.”

Sork sees life sciences changing more than any other field right now, requiring a greater and greater degree of cross-disciplinary work in order to address contemporary challenges. “The Terasaki Building, with its open laboratories, fosters that kind of synergy,” she says.

Meanwhile, the Terasaki Chair in Surgery will further UCLA’s basic science research in liver and intestinal transplantation, according to Dr. Ronald W. Busuttil, chief of the Division of Liver and Pancreas Transplantation. “Dr. Terasaki’s contributions to solid organ transplantation over the last 50 years are iconic. His generosity and support are inspirational.”