Joseph Chang, a San Marino Unified School District Board of Education member, recently donated $100,000 to the Huntington Medical Research Institutes for their new biomedical research building.
He is also part of the campaign committee, helping to make the three-story state-of-the-art building a reality. The plan is for it to break ground in December.
“We’re very grateful to Joseph,” said Dan Maljanian, vice president of HMRI philanthropy.
Chang said he believes medical research needs to be supported, especially in prevention and education. HMRI has been very generous to young students by offering internships, he said adding that a number of San Marino High School students have been part of this program.
The internship program is now a year-long rather than over the summer, Maljanian said. It is meant to help students interested in careers in biomedical research.
Research at HMRI includes neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, liver, gastrointestinal diseases, and diseases of pregnancy.
Additionally, Chang said his interest in HMRI came from his mother, who passed away in September, 2015. She went to Japan as a teenager to study as a pharmacist. This is why he encourages young students to study medicine.
This $28.6 million 35,000-square-foot building will help with that.
HMRI researchers are currently scattered among a few different buildings that are older, Maljanian said. They often collaborate with Huntington Hospital, Caltech, the University of Southern California and the University of California Santa Barbara for research purposes. The new one will allow everyone to be under the same roof, improving “cross-talk” with researchers as they learn from one another.
Another benefit to the building is that it will boost their recruitment efforts. The medical facility will be next to the Huntington Hospital at Fair Oaks and Congress, which will expand their presence.
They are still fundraising for the project. Anyone interested in donating can call Maljanian at 626-397-5804.