Hastings Foundation Donates $12.5 Million to Lung Disease Research at USC

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by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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The Hastings Foundation has donated $12.5 million to the University of Southern California (USC) Hastings Center for Pulmonary Research to help advance research and development of new strategies to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and other lung diseases.

This second donation follows a previous gift of $7.5 million in 2014, which was used to build and establish the USC Hastings Center for Pulmonary Research.

“This generous support will enhance our research on serious pulmonary diseases that affect millions of people around the world and facilitate our development as a premier center for lung research,” Zea Borok, MD, director of the center and professor of medicine and biochemistry and molecular medicine, said in a university press release written by Eric Lindberg.

“Our investigators are seeking new strategies to treat and cure conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. We are incredibly grateful to the Hastings Foundation for recognizing the critical importance of this work,” added Borok, who also is the chief of the division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Keck School of Medicine.

The foundation’s support will allow the center to recruit leading scientists to join and expand the multidisciplinary research environment, currently harboring scientists who conduct basic lung biology research, epigenetic studies, respiratory health, regenerative medicine, and stem cell research.

The financial support also will help the center to offer postdoctoral fellowships and acquire new research equipment.

“We have been extremely impressed with the advancements in pulmonary research that have emerged from the center in the past few years,” said Gene Gregg, president of the Hastings Foundation’s board of directors. “This new gift is a symbol of our continued investment in USC’s skilled researchers and clinical scientists as they lead the way in the fight against lung disease.”

The long-term goal of the USC Hastings Center for Pulmonary Research is to become a national reference on lung disease research and promote the translation of bench findings into the clinic. A key step in this direction is the establishment of a tissue bank of lung cells and tissues made available to researchers.

“The Hastings Foundation has been an outstanding and invaluable partner in our efforts to treat and cure chronic illnesses of the lung,” said Laura Mosqueda, MD, dean of the Keck School of Medicine and professor of family medicine and geriatrics. “We are deeply thankful for its support of our USC Hastings Center for Pulmonary Research. It has truly energized our scientists and created a collaborative hub for innovation in basic, clinical and translation research on this critical issue.”

The Hastings Foundation has a long-term legacy of supporting research and clinical breakthroughs at the Keck School of Medicine at USC, having donated more than $45 million to the university since 1975.

USC will present the foundation with the Elaine Stevely Hoffman Award for its commitment to supporting the Keck School of Medicine.

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