Irvine to House Roosevelt Polio Research Unit

A polio and rehabilitative-medicine research foundation established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Georgia 61 years ago is moving to UC Irvine.

The board of the Atlanta-based Warm Springs Foundation, which Roosevelt founded in 1927, said Wednesday that the program is being moved out of Georgia and will be set up at Irvine by July 31.

The foundation will give UC Irvine's College of Medicine $500,000 for an endowed chair in physical and rehabilitative medicine. The school beat out two other major contenders, Harvard University and Ohio State University.

In addition to the endowed chair, the foundation also will give UC Irvine $100,000 for research in rehabilitative medicine, such as spinal injuries.

Campus officials said the new foundation office will be housed in existing buildings at the College of Medicine.

Roosevelt, a victim of polio, started the foundation to try to find a vaccine for polio and ways for victims to be rehabilitated. The foundation, which once raised millions of dollars annually through nationwide fund drives, has been largely dormant in the past 20 years since polio vaccines have been discovered.

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