Dear Colleagues and Friends,
It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the passing of our dear friend Dr. Igal Silber on December 28th, 2021. Igal and his wife, Diane, have been an integral part of the CNLM family for many years and have not only supported the Center in various ways but have also played a crucial role in its strategic development and success.
As a resident of Orange County for fifty years, Igal served our local community in a variety of ways. Professionally, Igal was the first pediatric urologist in Orange County, practicing both at UCI and in private practice. He served as chief of the Medical Staff of Children’s Hospital Orange County (CHOC) and retired in 1996. Outside of medicine, Igal was quite the adventurer, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Whitney, mountain biking across the Himalayan Kush, and running numerous marathons. He shared a love for all forms of art with Diane and the two of them loved contemporary figurative paintings and sculpture. Their unique ceramic collection has been exhibited in museums including the Laguna Art Museum.
Igal and Diane’s generosity to those in need is truly exemplary. They have supported numerous nonprofits and cultural institutions in Orange County including the Laguna Food Pantry, the Laguna College of Art and Design, and the American Museum of Ceramic Art. Of course, Igal and Diane have also supported the CNLM since the beginning of my tenure as director. Igal’s legacy can be readily felt in our High-Risk High-Reward Pilot Grant program that was seeded with their generous gifts. Importantly, Igal was a close personal friend and mentor and I benefited tremendously as director from his counsel. I can confidently say that the CNLM would not be where it is today if it were not for Igal’s commitment and passion to support our work.
Igal will be dearly missed and we are keeping Diane close to our hearts during this difficult time.
Michael A. Yassa, Ph.D.
Director, Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory