UCSF Honors the Late Ray Dolby

September 25, 2013

Dagmar and Ray Dolby posed for a photo with Chancellor Susan Desmond-

Hellmann at the stem cell research building at UCSF named in the couple's

honor in 2011.

Ray Dolby, PhD, the pioneer of surround-sound and noise reduction technology in modern entertainment and a great friend of UCSF, passed away at his home in San Francisco on Sept. 12, 2013. He was 80 years old.

Among many contributions to UCSF, Ray and his wife Dagmar were a key philanthropic force behind the construction of the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building. Since its opening in 2011, the building they made possible has housed one of the largest and most comprehensive stem cell research programs in the United States. 

“We are greatly saddened by the death of Ray Dolby, and are honored that his legacy will live on in our building and our work here at UCSF,” said Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH.

Founder of Dolby Laboratories, Inc., Dolby changed the way people listen to music and movies. His name is now internationally synonymous with the highest quality of sound.

As philanthropists, Dolby and his wife Dagmar were extraordinarily generous to numerous causes and organizations. Among other gifts, they gave $5 million in 2005 to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, helping the fledgling agency establish its stem cell research program.

The following year, they made the first of two landmark investments in UCSF’s campaign to build a state-of-the-art stem cell facility — contributions that ultimately totaled $36 million. The facility they helped build has enabled UCSF to recruit and retain top scientists, bringing under one roof hundreds of the foremost investigators in many areas of human and animal embryonic and adult stem cell and related early-cell studies. In turn, these scientists are making discoveries that may lead to treatments for traumatic and degenerative disorders and provide important insights into a wide range of diseases and conditions.

“Throughout his career, Dolby was committed to innovation and fostering environments where people could do great things,” says Arnold Kriegstein, MD, PhD, director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research. “The investment in UCSF reflected that commitment, creating a space that will encourage the cross-pollination of ideas between world-class scientists for years to come.”

Read more about Dolby's extraordinary life and his impact on UCSF on the Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research website.