Allergan Inc's gifts marry academic and business knowledge
One of UC Irvine’s strongest supporters, Allergan Inc. is committed to discovering new technologies to improve the lives of patients. The Irvine-headquartered company is a global specialty health care company that develops and commercializes innovative pharmaceuticals, biologics and medical devices that enable people to live life to its greatest potential.
Allergan made its first gift to UC Irvine in 1970. Since then, Allergan and the Allergan Foundation have jointly contributed to the advancement of UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business, the schools of biological and physical sciences, and many other university departments.
More recently, Allergan underwrote fellowships in the specialty of dermatology to support the next generation of opinion leaders and accelerate medical innovations. In addition, Allergan’s executives and employees frequently interact with UC Irvine’s faculty to stimulate activities that benefit the community and advance the science of medicine.
“We are tremendously proud of our nearly 40-year partnership with UC Irvine and of its over 200 alumni who have joined Allergan in pursuit of their professional aspirations and to help meet unmet medical needs,” says David Pyott, chairman of the board and chief executive officer
The company’s deep relationship with UC Irvine and its shared commitment to the spirit of innovation led to Allergan’s substantial support for the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, named after the company’s founder.
David is past chairman of the UC Irvine’s Chief Executive Roundtable and also participates on the executive committee of the directors’ board of the Paul Merage School of Business. Allergan’s collaborations with UC Irvine are testament to “the strength of marrying academic and industry knowledge and resources to progress the local community and address the needs of health care worldwide,” David notes.
Christopher Zachary's father, an internationally recognized British pediatric surgeon, used to toil day and night with acutely sick newborns needing complex emergency surgery. So when Christopher, chair of UC Irvine's Department of Dermatology, went to medical school, he deliberately steered clear from surgery, choosing internal medicine instead.
But surgery chose him.
"Having trained in internal medicine and dermatology, I now spend 100 percent of my clinical time involved in surgery of the skin," Christopher notes. "It's a familiar comfort zone that suits my personality, allowing me to make a difference at the local and national level."
Christopher has raised the profile of the department by recruiting a cadre of physicians with national reputations and by creating beautiful new facilities dedicated to providing quality care to patients.
Today, UC Irvine's dermatology department is the leading provider of novel laser surgical techniques on the West Coast. Further, new medical and surgical treatments are being developed for skin cancer, pediatric skin problems, varicose veins, pigmentary and blistering diseases, psoriasis and skin lymphomas.
Determined to make UC Irvine one of the top departments of dermatology in the country, Christopher says he is grateful to Allergan, which has generously given funds to the department.
"This type of philanthropy can absolutely change the direction of a department from being a rather mediocre center for skin disease to one of preeminence in the country," he says