The University of South Florida announced a $1 million gift from philanthropist Timothy Ubben to fund research aimed at detecting and preventing severe lung scarring.
Ubben, founder of the investment firm Lincoln Capital Management, made the gift to support research at USF led by his physician, Dr. Jose D. Herazo-Maya. The doctor joined USF Health last month as associate chief of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine.
“I have been discouraged in the lack of progress in alleviating pulmonary fibrosis in patients,” Ubben said in a press release. “This funding will support research to better understand and find assistance in the fight against this disease.”
The gift will be used to create the Ubben Family Pulmonary Research Laboratory in the new USF Health Heart Institute space in downtown Tampa. The lab will include a team of physicians, biostatisticians and other scientists.
Herazo-Maya, who was previously director of the interstitial lung disease program and professor at Yale’s School of Medicine, served on a team at Yale that discovered a gene signature in blood that predicted mortality from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He now leads a USF Health research team working to develop a test that will help identify patients at risk of severe disease earlier.
“We are delighted with this confluence of vision, talent and philanthropy,” Dr. Charles Lockwood, USF Health senior vice president and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, said in a news release. “The timing of Mr. Ubben’s gift is helping us to rapidly launch this important research to fight devastating lung conditions.”