Thursday, May 3, 2018

LOS ANGELES—USC scientists developing new treatments and cures for lung disease have received a $12.5 million donation from the Hastings Foundation, the university announced Friday.

The gift renews the foundation's commitment to the USC Hastings Center for Pulmonary Research, which it established in 2014 with a $7.5 million donation. Researchers at the center seek breakthroughs in the laboratory that can be translated into new and promising approaches for lung injury, repair and regeneration.

"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," said Dr. Zea Borok, director of the center and professor of medicine and biochemistry and molecular medicine.

"Our investigators are seeking new strategies to treat and cure conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis," she said. "We are incredibly grateful to the Hastings Foundation for recognizing the critical importance of this work."

The foundation's ongoing support has ensured the center can continue to recruit leading scientists and promising young researchers, said Borok, who serves as chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the USC Keck School of Medicine.

A multidisciplinary research hub, the center features specialists in basic lung biology, epigenetics, respiratory health, regenerative medicine and stem cell research. Collaborators include scientists from the USC Center for Advanced Lung Disease and experts from the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC.

"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."