Qualcomm Cofounder Donates $50 Million to UC San Diego Ophthalmology Program

August 31, 2018: By Jon Swedien
Andrew J. Viterbi

Andrew J. Viterbi

Qualcomm cofounder Andrew J. Viterbi has given the University of California San Diego $50 million to support its ophthalmology program, the university announced Aug. 23.

The gift will create six new endowed faculty chairs in the school’s Department of Ophthalmology, and the department will be renamed the Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology.

The donation will also be used to build the Viterbi Family Vision Research Center.

Viterbi was inspired by his father, an ophthalmologist who fled fascist Italy in 1939, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

The university said the Viterbi Family Vision Research Center’s studies will focus on curing glaucoma blindness, restoring vision of those blinded by retinal degeneration, and providing sight to individuals who have reversible vision loss due to cataracts or infections, among other research.

Viterbi is a professor emeritus at UC San Diego, where he spent time as an engineering professor. He is well known for creating the Viterbi algorithm, which is used in widely in electronic communications.

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