Rady family donates $120M to Children's Hospital

SAN DIEGO - Rady Children's Hospital announced Monday a $120 million gift from benefactor Ernest Rady and his family to establish the Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute.

"As we move into an exciting new era of medicine, it is our responsibility to encourage the ambitious research and innovation that will accelerate the process by which discoveries are made and translated into cures," Rady said.

Hospital officials said that discoveries in genomics and emerging personalized medicines hold unprecedented promises, but breakthroughs are required to translate the advances into cures and treatments.

The gift will enable Rady Children's to keep pace with new technology and stay on the cutting edge of genomics and systems medicine, according to the hospital.

"Imagine a day when children no longer get leukemia," said Donald Kearns, president of the hospital.

Rady Children's plans to spend $40 million of its own money on the project, which will be housed on the Rady Children's campus and a separate location in the Torrey Pines life sciences hub.

"We can use that database and then customize treatment; I mean, wouldn't it be great to know a therapy will work before hand?" Kearns said.

"The institute will work closely with UC San Diego and establish relationships with other academic and research institutions, companies involved in genomics research and other children's hospitals to advance the mission of the institute," said David Hale, chairman of the board.

In making the donation to the hospital, Ernest Rady said the family was getting more out of it.  

"Thank you for giving us the opportunity to give a gift that will give my family and me real meaning to our lives," Rady said.

Rady, who founded the real estate, investment and financial firm American Assets Inc., gave the pediatric hospital $60 million in 2006.

The donation is the second-largest in county history, matching a similar donation by Joan and Irwin Jacobs to the San Diego Symphony. 

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