$5M Gift Expands Disease Research at USF, Creates Center
A $5 million gift to the University of South Florida (USF) from the philanthropist and entrepreneur Timothy Ubben will be used to create the Ubben Family Center for Pulmonary Fibrosis, dedicated to disease research.
The center will be located at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine in Tampa.
This donation will also set up an endowed chair for a faculty member with a specialty in pulmonary fibrosis (PF). It follows a $1 million gift in February that established the Ubben Family Pulmonary Research Laboratory at USF, led by Jose D. Herazo-Maya, MD, an associate chief of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine.
“It is incredible to see such amazing generosity from Mr. Ubben in such a short time,” Rhea Law, the university’s president, said in a press release. “I am confident that Dr. Herazo and his research team will make great gains in fighting pulmonary fibrosis as a result of this important gift.”
The gift will be divided between operating funds to expand USF Health’s pulmonary fibrosis research lab, which has focused on Herazo’s work in developing blood tests to more quickly detect PF and in preventing lung scarring in patients, and the endowed chair that will carry Ubben’s name and support the donation’s growth over time through earned interest.
“Pulmonary fibrosis doesn’t get popular support or much research funding … I probably won’t be around to benefit from the results of Dr. Herazo’s research, but hopefully other pulmonary fibrosis patients will,” Ubben said.
Herazo has served as Ubben’s pulmonologist for years, in Naples and at USF since taking a position there in January.
Under Herazo’s leadership, USF Health and Tampa General Hospital have expanded the Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic, which cares for more than 1,000 pulmonary fibrosis patients in the region.
“It is humbling to receive such wonderful support to lead this critical research at USF,” Herazo said. “Mr. Ubben’s generous gift will help us better understand the root causes of pulmonary fibrosis, so we can expedite the discovery of new tests and treatments to help patients.”
Ubben founded the investment firm Lincoln Capital Management in Chicago in 1967, and has used his time and leadership skills to help educational and nonprofit groups since retiring in 1999.