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Wallis Annenberg Donates $10M to House Ear Institute for New Research Center and Joins Board

Los Angeles--The House Ear Institute (HEI) has received a $10 million gift from Wallis Annenberg through the Annenberg Foundation to support its "Campaign for Building a Sound Future," which includes plans for a new research building named the "Wallis Annenberg Research Center." The new center will enable House Ear Institute scientists to expand upon current cell and molecular research and studies in the genetics of hearing loss and other areas. "This significant gift from The Annenberg Foundation through our friend Wallis Annenberg makes our hope for expanding HEI research and programs into new frontiers in hearing science a reality," said campaign chair John W. House, M.D.

As Vice President of the Annenberg Foundation, Wallis Annenberg has been a strong supporter of organizations that enhance the community through the arts, culture and education. The gift to the House Ear Institute builds on a significant commitment of the Foundation, providing access to healthcare and direct support to research and health facilities over the years. In addition to offering philanthropic support to the Institute, Ms. Annenberg joined its Board of Trustees, where she will work with other trustees in decision-making that affects the Institute's future.

"The House Ear Institute is thrilled that in Ms. Annenberg we've gained more than a valuable and active member of our Board of Trustees, but also a donor who believes in driving our research forward through a substantial gift of support," said James D. Boswell, CEO.

"I believe it's important to support the community and give of oneself to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others," said Wallis Annenberg. "I know from experience that offering support and getting involved in positive change is very fulfilling. It is rewarding to support the growth of this renowned research center that is advancing hearing research to make a difference in so many lives."

The Wallis Annenberg Research Center will be an extension of the existing House Ear Institute building located near downtown Los Angeles. Many laboratories in the new center will be dedicated to seeking improved treatments and cures for hereditary ear diseases such as otosclerosis. Additional laboratories in the center will extend cell and molecular biology studies that investigate the causes and potential solutions for middle ear infections (otitis media) and other ear diseases and disorders. All floors and labs in the new building will need to be outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment that requires additional funding, and thereby provides naming opportunities for additional donors who wish to support hearing science.

About the House Ear Institute

The House Ear Institute (HEI) is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to advancing hearing science through research and education to improve quality of life. Established in 1946 by Howard P. House, M.D., the House Ear Institute has been engaged in the scientific exploration of the auditory system from the ear canal to the cortex of the brain for nearly 60 years. HEI scientists continue to explore the developing ear and ear diseases at the cell and molecular level, as well as the complex ear-brain interaction. They are also working to improve hearing aids and auditory implants, clinical treatments and intervention methods. 

About The Annenberg Foundation

Founded by publisher, diplomat and philanthropist Walter H. Annenberg in 1989, The Annenberg Foundation exists to advance the public well-being through improved communication. As the principal means of achieving its goal, the Foundation encourages the development of more effective ways to share ideas and knowledge. The Annenberg Foundation has offices in St. Davids, Pa., and Los Angeles.

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