26 June, 2005: Stem cell research may be the topic of hot debate in the US, but that has not prevented Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing from handing out a cheque of $40 million to the University of California, Berkeley for research in stem cells, among others.
Li Ka-shing's charitable foundation has donated $40 million to fund a center to for stem cell research and brain imaging technology at the University. This donation from the Li Ka Shing Foundation will be used to set up a research center focused to focus on new scientific fields including stem cell biology and brain imaging, according to campus officials.
Billionaire philanthropist Li Ka-shing in a statement: "I am a firm believer in the spirit of public-private partnership, and I am excited by the advanced work Berkeley is undertaking. The work and research being done there will result in phenomenal benefits to mankind."
Li's Ka-shing' donation will kick off planning on a new $160 million scientific research centre slated for construction in a couple of years. Construction will be completed in 2009. The research building will be christened the "Li Ka-shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences." This is the largest-ever international gift the University has got so far.
Li's wealthy ways are quite removed from his humble beginnings in mainland China, where grew up from a poor family to become of the richest persons in South East Asia.
Li Ka-shing set up the Li Ka-shing Foundation in 1980 to coordinate donations for education, medicine, and cultural and community welfare.
BY OUR PHARMA CORRESPONDENT