UCLA has received a $2 million commitment from the W. M. Keck Foundation to establish the UCLA W. M. Keck Foundation COVID-19 Research Fund.
The fund will support basic science research aimed at understanding the SARS-CoV2 virus and the mechanisms by which it causes disease, as well as why some people are more susceptible to life-threatening disease than others; and developing new methods to detect infection and new therapies to treat COVID-19 infection.
"When the threat of COVID-19 became known, scientists at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA ramped up research to develop an effective way to test for it, determine how the coronavirus developed and discover pathways to overcome it," said Dr. Kelsey Martin, dean of the medical school, and holder of the Gerald S. Levey, MD, Endowed Chair. "We are deeply grateful to the Keck Foundation for this gift, which will provide our dedicated investigators with vital resources and be instrumental in our efforts to expedite an effective treatment or cure."
The Keck Foundation's chair, Robert Day, also announced an additional $8 million in grants to other Los Angeles institutions to support COVID-19 research and emergency relief efforts.
"We are proud to partner with these renowned research institutions that have exceptional scientific leaders overseeing their COVID-19 research," said Joe Day, co-president of the foundation.
The Keck Foundation is also providing funding to the University of Southern California and, through the California Community Foundation, to the City of Los Angeles' L.A. Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund and the Los Angeles County Office of Education's COVID-19 Education Response. And a total of $3 million went to charities in Southern California for immediate assistance and to boost emergency response efforts that address their vulnerable clients' pressing needs.
"The W. M. Keck Foundation is uniquely positioned as a regular partner of both world-class research institutions nationally and safety net organizations locally to help combat the effects of this virus on multiple fronts," said Steve Keck, co-president of the Keck Foundation. "We thank each of our partners for their heroic efforts."