San Diego State University. File photo.
San Diego State University. File photo.

Local philanthropist Conrad Prebys donated $2.5 million to San Diego State University to endow a faculty chairmanship in biomedical research, the school announced Monday.

According to SDSU, the Conrad Prebys Endowed Chair in Biomedical Research will be filled by an expert on the genetics of viruses. SDSU researchers are studying bacteriophages, viruses that attack bacteria but not humans.

“It gives me great joy, especially at this time of year, to give to the education program at San Diego State University,” Prebys said.

The real estate developer previously gave SDSU $20 million to fund student scholarships, and his name adorns the Aztec Student Union. He’s also known for financial support of UC San Diego, the San Diego Zoo and Old Globe theater, among other institutions.

SDSU said a national search will begin immediately to fill the position, which is the largest endowed chairmanship in the school’s history.

—City News Service