People spend a lifetime making memories. Dr. Jay Huff has spent a career helping people keep them.
As a clinical neurologist, researcher and biotechnology executive, Dr. Huff has dedicated his life's work to stemming the effects of diseases that ravage the brain.
Now nearing the end of his medical career, Dr. Huff is having a memorable impact on students, faculty, and staff of MiraCosta College with his substantial trust donation to the MiraCosta College Foundation.
"I thought it was worthwhile to support MiraCosta's academic and cultural missions," said Huff, whose generous donation will be split evenly to support students and faculty developing innovative programs in the arts, biotech, health professions and life sciences.
After graduating from Northwestern University and the Medical College of Ohio, Huff started his career as a neurologist, completing a fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital, then serving as a professor at several medical schools.
His academic research on Alzheimer's disease funded by the National Institute on Aging led to a third dimension to his career. Applying breakthroughs in the academic world, Dr. Huff worked with pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease and other neuropsychiatric disorders.
His work brought him to California, where he was a clinical professor of neurology at UC Irvine. Dr. Huff has worked with biotech companies in San Francisco and Orange County, developing new treatments for Parkinson's disease, restless-leg syndrome, depression, and other conditions. .
But Dr. Huff's interests were not limited to neurology. To sharpen his skills as an amateur blues and jazz pianist, Dr. Huff took a jazz combo class at a college in northern California, which began his relationship with community colleges. Retiring to coastal north San Diego County, Huff enrolled in the MiraCosta College jazz combo class, which performs as the Jazz Collective. The Collective is directed by Professor Steve Torok, who chairs the Music Department and also directs the MiraCosta Oceanside Jazz Orchestra.
Through his relationship with people at the college, Dr. Huff decided to establish part of his legacy at MiraCosta. "I have included Mira Costa College in my estate and trust planning as a way to enhance the opportunity for young people in our community to obtain a quality education regardless of any limitations in their financial resources," he commented.
"MiraCosta College contributes to the cultural life of our community in addition to its educational function," Huff concluded: "By endowing the foundation, I have a local impact by helping MiraCosta in its broader cultural and economic contributions, while never losing sight of its primary mission of providing opportunities for students."