The Keck School of Medicine of USC has received a $100,000 donation from Puma, the world’s third largest sportswear manufacturer, for the Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research, two years after the singer established the fund, the school announced Wednesday.
The fund supports research at the school on new targeted therapies for lupus, an autoimmune disease that afflicts Gomez, and the complications it can sometimes cause.
“Puma and Selena Gomez have made a generous donation to support our research efforts to find better therapies for lupus, which is a disease that has a profound effect on people’s lives,” said Dr. Laura Mosqueda, dean of the Keck School. “We deeply appreciate their generosity and advocacy.”
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack different tissues in the body. About two in three people with lupus develop lupus nephritis, an inflammation of the kidneys that may require dialysis or a kidney transplant. An estimated 1.5 million Americans, including Gomez, have lupus.
“This is a cause that is close to my heart,” said Gomez, who has publicly shared her personal experience living with lupus, including undergoing a kidney transplant. “I created the Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research to help others who are facing challenges of their own. I am grateful to have a partner like Puma that shares my mission of one day finding a cure.”
In the two years since it was created, the Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research has helped a number of researchers gain a better understanding of what causes lupus and lupus nephritis, as well as find new ways to treat it, according to a Keck statement.
The researchers have developed a state-of-the-art imaging technique to study the earliest stage of lupus development and to identify the sources of lupus complications. They have also discovered a new therapeutic strategy for preserving kidney function and are exploring the immunological pathways that underlie the multiple systemic manifestations of lupus, Keck said.
“Selena is part of our family and what better way to celebrate our first anniversary together than to endorse the cause she is most passionate about. With our donation to the Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, we want to support the research on this chronic autoimmune disease that affects millions of people, so that hopefully one day there will be a cure,” said Bjorn Gulden, CEO of Puma, a German company owned by France’s Kering group of luxury companies.
Donations can be made to the Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research by visiting keck.usc.edu/giving/selenafund.
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