The Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation Endows a New Chair at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering

Sep 28, 2011, 13:20 ET from USC Viterbi School of Engineering

The Gift will Support Research at the Intersection of Computer Science, Engineering and Medicine

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The USC Viterbi School of Engineering just received a new endowed chair, from the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation, funded by the visionary philanthropist and surgeon, Patrick Soon-Shiong M.D. and his wife, Michele B. Chan.

The endowed chair will support a Viterbi Professor at the general intersection of engineering and

medicine – specifically computer science, mobile vision or robotics.

The chosen individual will be named the Chan Soon-Shiong Chair.

Dr. Soon-Shiong, who has developed and sold two multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies, is also a medical scientist and inventor, and the pioneer of revolutionary new treatments for both diabetes and cancer.

"My work on diabetes and cancer took me to the world of engineering," said Dr. Soon-Shiong. "I believe strongly that engineering can help address many of today's healthcare challenges. I applaud the Viterbi School and USC for their vision and I am delighted to be a part of it."

According to C.L. Max Nikias, president of the University of Southern California, "The USC academic

community is deeply grateful to the Soon-Shiong family for their visionary gift that will endow the Chan Soon-Shiong Chair."

Added Nikias: "Many of the most promising scientific revolutions of coming decades will take place at the intersection of engineering and medicine, and this new chair will allow USC's faculty to play a leading role in such revolutions."

The gift to the Viterbi School, which is already well situated at that intersection of engineering and health care, will build on such existing strengths as the Biomimetics Engineering Systems Center, an NSF ERC; the Ming Hsieh Institute for Engineering Medicine for Cancer; the Viterbi Brain-Body Dynamics Lab (reverse engineering brain control of the hand for artificial limbs); the USC Robotics Research Lab (socially assistive robots); and the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems (smart vision for the visually impaired).

Said Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos: "Helping the advance of the state of the art in health care is a key component of the Grand Challenges in Engineering, for example, as articulated by the National Academy of Engineering. The USC Viterbi School of Engineering has been a pioneer in this area with a multitude of research and educational programs. We are excited that the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation shares the same vision, and we are grateful to the foundation and its chairman, Patrick Soon-Shiong, for their commitment."

About the Viterbi School of Engineering: Engineering Studies began at the University of Southern California in 1905. Nearly a century later, the Viterbi School of Engineering received a naming gift in 2004 from alumnus Andrew J. Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm now key to cell phone technology and numerous data applications. Consistently ranked among the top graduate programs in the world, the school enrolls more than 2,100 undergraduate students and 4,200 graduate students, taught by 168 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with 50 endowed chairs and professorships. For more information, please visit

SOURCE USC Viterbi School of Engineering