Actress, singer, and celebrity Selena Gomez, who came forward about her own struggles with lupus in 2015, has made a donation to the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) to support new lupus research.
While Gomez has been an important voice for the cause, this is her first USC donation for research into lupus. She created the Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research to support a pilot program dedicated to the treatment of lupus complications.
Janos Peti-Peterdi, MD, PhD, a professor at the Keck School of Medicine, will be leading the project.
Peti-Peterdi and Chaim Jacob, MD, PhD, also a professor at Keck, will collaborate in an interdisciplinary team with expertise in the genetics and development of the disease. The award-winning team has conducted path-breaking research work in the past, using innovative imaging techniques to model new methods for understanding the causes of lupus complications.
The goal of the research program is to potentially lay the foundation for targeted therapeutic treatment breakthroughs.
“We are extremely pleased to partner with Selena in her efforts to promote awareness and medical research toward a much-needed cure for lupus,” Peti-Peterdi said in a press release. “Complications from systemic lupus cause serious damage, and we are hopeful that our research, with Selena’s support, will help those affected by this disease lead full, healthy lives.”
When Gomez went public about her diagnosis, she did so to explain a hiatus she had taken from performing, as she was going through chemotherapy for the disease. The Grand Prairie, Texas, native became an activist after recovering from her treatment.
“I continue to be optimistic about the progress being made in lupus research and am proud to support the promising work at Keck School of Medicine,” Gomez said. “I am hopeful for the millions of us around the world that may benefit from this.”
You can contribute to the Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research in four different ways: by making a one-time gift; by making a recurring gift; by making a payment on an existing pledge; or by making a gift using your payroll deduction if you are a USC employee.
For more information about how to contribute, go to keck.usc.edu/giving/selenafund.