UCI Biological Sciences (BioSci) recently announced a generous gift from the estate of Audrey Steele Burnand to UCI. The gift, totaling $57.75 million, has been allocated to support two centers — one new and one existing.
The largest portion of the gift, over $55 million, will fund the Noel Drury M.D. Depression Research Center. This new center will enable BioSci to make significant advances in investigating and treating the disorder, which is the leading mental health disability in the U.S. What’s more, this monumental philanthropic gift is believed to be the largest of its kind to a university for research focused solely on depression.
An additional $2.6 million will provide continued support to the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center, which was originally established with a gift in 2011 gift from Mrs. Burnand. It is at this center that BioSci researchers are tackling climate change, invasive species, drought, groundwater use, and human-natural systems interactions — research that helps us understand and preserve California and the rest of the planet.
During her lifetime, Mrs. Burnand supported Alzheimer’s disease research at UCI MIND and made gifts to create and support the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center. The contributions of Audrey Steele Burnand are further proof of the important work being done at UCI and in BioSci — from research of the brain to our environment. I know you will join me in appreciating her generosity and commitment to science, and I thank all of you for the contributions you have made and will make in the future toward the success of our school, our faculty, and our students.