California university gets $16 million

Sound pioneer Ray Dolby has given $16 million ( Ђ 12.5 million) to the University of California, San Francisco, to start a stem cell center that will perform research without federal funds, the school announced.

The Institute for Regeneration Medicine will conduct research on stem cells extracted from human embryos after Aug. 9, 2001, when President George W. Bush cut off eligibility for federal funding of such work.

"The discovery of stem cells was a wonderful thing but, unfortunately, this name by itself does not seem to very well suggest what is happening or how," Dolby said, referring to the renamed institute in a written statement Wednesday. "Moreover, the term 'stem cell' seems to have acquired a negative meaning with some people."

An undisclosed amount of money is still needed to build the center.

Last year, Dolby donated $5 million ( Ђ 3.9 million) to the state's stem cell research agency to help it pay its bills while it fought lawsuits blocking its ability to borrow money.

Dolby, founder and chairman of Dolby Laboratories, was listed as worth $1.6 billion ( Ђ 1.25 billion) in Forbes magazine's most recent listing of billionaires, reports the AP.

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