University of South Florida


Sharon and Timothy Ubben with Dr. Jose D. Herazo-Maya

Sharon and Timothy Ubben with Dr. Jose D. Herazo-Maya

Philanthropist Timothy Ubben gives $5 million to USF Health to fight pulmonary fibrosis

The University of South Florida announced a $5 million gift to the USF Foundation from Timothy Ubben to create the Ubben Family Center for Pulmonary Fibrosis. Housed in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the center will increase research to fight pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that causes lung scarring.

This is Ubben’s second principal gift to USF this year. In February, USF announced his first gift of $1 million to fund the Ubben Family Pulmonary Research Laboratory, led by Dr. Jose D. Herazo-Maya, associate chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine and director of the Ubben Program for Pulmonary Fibrosis Research in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

“It is incredible to see such amazing generosity from Mr. Ubben in such a short time,” said President Rhea Law. “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 $5 million gift will be split between operating funds to expand USF Health’s pulmonary fibrosis research and to establish an endowed chair, the Timothy Ubben Chair in Pulmonary Fibrosis. The endowment will generate earnings that ensure leadership and funding for this research to continue forever.

"Pulmonary fibrosis doesn't get popular support or much research funding," Ubben said. “I probably won’t be around to benefit from the results of Dr. Herazo’s research, but hopefully other pulmonary fibrosis patients will. I want him to find the cure, and I want him to do it at USF Health.”

Herazo first served as Ubben’s pulmonologist in Naples before joining USF in January and continues to serve as his physician.

“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.”

Since Herazo’s arrival, USF Health and Tampa General Hospital have expanded the Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic, which now cares for more than 1,000 pulmonary fibrosis patients in the region.

“We are thrilled by Mr. Ubben’s investment in Dr. Herazo’s research,” said Dr. Charles Lockwood, USF Health senior vice president and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine. “This will have a powerful impact on building the pipeline of therapies for patients.”

Ubben founded Lincoln Capital Management, a successful Chicago-based investment firm, in 1967. Since retiring in 1999, he has dedicated his time, resources and expertise in board leadership to nonprofit and educational organizations.

“This extraordinary gift by Mr. Ubben is a moving example of how USF Health patients and their physicians can partner to provide hope for the future,” said USF Foundation CEO Jay Stroman. “This level of focused research wouldn’t be possible without Mr. Ubben’s support, and the discoveries made through this center will ultimately save lives.

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