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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Donation from USC Trustee to Launch Pharmaceutical Cancer Research Center

A donation from a USC trustee will launch a USC-Taiwan research center.

A donation from a USC trustee will launch a binational research center for pharmaceutical research. (ATVN)
A donation from a USC trustee will launch a binational research center for pharmaceutical research. (ATVN)
Taiwanese businessman and USC Trustee Daniel M. Tsai donated $1.5 million to the USC School of Pharmacy to establish a binational research center between USC and Taiwan.

"I believe international collaborations between expert researchers are one of the keys to developing new ways to treat disease," Tsai said. " I am proud to support USC and, in particular, the work of Dr. Shih to ensure these collaborations take place."

The new center will accommodate researchers focusing on monoamine oxidase (MAO), a key enzyme that regulates brain function and may be linked to cancer risk.

MAO has been prescribed as an antidepressant due to its ability to deactivate neurotransmitters, which are responsible for some neurological disorders.

However, recent studies has found MAO to have the potential to promote tumor growth. Studies to corroborate the link between MAO and cancer have been inconclusive, however.

USC Professor Jean Chen Shih, a globally recognized expert in monoamine signaling, will lead the new research center at the School of Pharmacy. The donation will provide cutting-edge research facilities, numerous laboratories, and techonologically advanced equipment to accelerate the scientific discovery into modern cancer therapeutics.

Dean R. Pete Vanderveen expressed confidence towards the research and the collaboration with Taiwan.

"The ability to accelerate the time between scientific discovery and new patient therapies is a core focus of USC's medical enterprise," said USC President C.L. Max Nikias. " With his generous gift, Daniel Tsai affirms his confidence in our ability to do so."

A laboratory in the John Stauffer Pharmaceutical Sciences Center on USC's Health Sciences Campus will be named after Tsai for his generous donation.

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