Irvine, Calif., Aug. 22, 2013 — The Discovery Eye Foundation – a Los Angeles-based organization that supports research, education, advocacy and treatment related to sight-threatening eye diseases – has awarded $3 million to the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, a part of UC Irvine Health. The gift provides $2 million to complete the UC Irvine campus facility, which opens in September, and $1 million to establish the Discovery Center for Eye Research within it.

“The goal of the building donation is to establish a home for this world-class eye institute – a place where ongoing research funded by the Discovery Eye Foundation will be translated into sight-saving treatments,” said Jack Schoellerman, chairman of the foundation board.

The Discovery Center for Eye Research is a novel collaboration between a private entity, the Discovery Eye Foundation, and the university-based Gavin Herbert Eye Institute. Schoellerman will serve as chair of the center, helping to define its role in sustaining current investigations and kick-starting promising new research. The center also plans to launch ophthalmology conferences at which research findings can be shared and new ideas stimulated.

“The Discovery Eye Foundation has funded the progress of many patient-oriented Gavin Herbert Eye Institute research programs, from a potential cure for ocular herpes to a proposed stem cell treatment for age-related macular degeneration,” said Dr. Roger Steinert, founding director of the institute. “We are grateful to the foundation for its generous investment in the future of eye health and look forward to exploring what we can accomplish together through the Discovery Center for Eye Research.”

In addition to backing novel research, the Discovery Eye Foundation provides support and resources to patients. It also serves as a parent foundation for both the National Keratoconus Foundation and the Macular Degeneration Partnership, helping to run websites with forums and resources for patients and their family members.

About the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute: The faculty of internationally recognized physicians, surgeons and scientists at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute and UC Irvine Health’s Department of Ophthalmology provide highly specialized training to future ophthalmologists, access to leading-edge clinical trials, and sight-saving treatments and therapies for many eye disorders. The Gavin Herbert Eye Institute’s mission is to develop educational programs, technologies and clinical solutions that enhance visual health and performance for people in Orange County, the nation and the world through cooperation with medical professionals, industry and the community. Visit for more information.

UC Irvine Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UC Irvine Health at physician offices throughout Orange County and at its main campus, UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif., a 412-bed acute care hospital that provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation. U.S. News & World Report has listed it among America’s Best Hospitals for 13 consecutive years. UC Irvine Medical Center features Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program, Level I trauma center and Level II pediatric trauma center, and it’s the primary teaching hospital for UC Irvine School of Medicine. UC Irvine Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County.

About the University of California, Irvine: Located in coastal Orange County, near a thriving high-tech hub in one of the nation’s safest cities, UC Irvine was founded in 1965. One of only 62 members of the Association of American Universities, it’s ranked first among U.S. universities under 50 years old by the London-based Times Higher Education. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UC Irvine has more than 28,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.3 billion annually to the local economy.

Media access: UC Irvine maintains an online directory of faculty available as experts to the media at Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UC Irvine faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UC Irvine news, visit Additional resources for journalists may be found at