Long-standing UCLA Partners Maxine and Eugene Rosenfeld Advance Lung Health

Friends - U Magazine Spring 2023
Maxine and Eugene Rosenfeld - U Magazine Spring 2023 UCLA Health
Maxine and Eugene Rosenfeld. Courtesy of the Rosenfeld Family

For more than 50 years, Maxine and Eugene Rosenfeld have been dedicated UCLA partners. Their philanthropy has advanced numerous areas across the campus, including medical research, patient care and education. Their most recent contribution of $1 million provided the initial resources to launch the Lung Health Innovation Fund in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Under the direction of Dr. John Belperio, interim chief of the UCLA Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep Medicine, Clinical Immunology and Allergy and Guitiara Pierpoint Endowed Chair in Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis, the fund will provide vital support for Dr. Belperio and his team’s efforts to improve treatments for advanced lung diseases and outcomes for patients who have received a lung transplant. The Rosenfelds’ lead gift established the fund, which the division hopes to increase to $5 million through continued contributions from other philanthropists. This goal will enable Dr. Belperio and his team to rapidly pursue new directions from real-time discoveries and continue transforming the field of pulmonary medicine.

Grateful for the care Eugene Rosenfeld received from Dr. Belperio, and after learning of the physician’s achievements combatting rejection of transplanted organs, the Rosenfelds were committed to helping further his research and clinical initiatives. Dr. Belperio’s work also focuses on the use of stem cells to heal airway injuries and reverse fibrosis, as well as research to determine the causes of and develop treatments to improve interstitial lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema and other advanced and rare lung diseases.

“We are profoundly grateful for Dr. Belperio’s lifesaving treatment and care,” Maxine Rosenfeld said. “It means so much to help advance his research that promises to improve the lives of so many who are challenged by lung diseases.”

The Belperio laboratory also trains the next generation of clinicians and scientists who gain hands-on experience with real-world studies and experiments. Students, fellows and junior faculty work side by side investigating the underlying causes of lung conditions, developing biomedical models that mimic processes and diseases found in humans and testing potential therapies. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UCLA pulmonology and lung surgery among the top five in the nation.

“I am grateful to Maxine and Eugene Rosenfeld for their partnership, which led the way to begin this new campaign,” Dr. Belperio said. “Private philanthropy is essential to our efforts to find novel methods to address lung diseases, and their commitment to our efforts is inspiring.”

The Rosenfelds’ visionary philanthropy has helped the university pioneer numerous programs, such as their 2020 investment in the UCLA Eugene and Maxine Rosenfeld Medical Home Visit Program in the Division of Geriatric Medicine, which enabled the division to provide vital in-home health care services for homebound older adults with complex medical needs who have difficulty traveling to clinics. The family has endowed chairs in other areas of medicine that give exceptional faculty the resources to accelerate research and training, such as the Maxine and Eugene Rosenfeld Endowed Chair in Medical Education and the Maxine and Eugene Rosenfeld Endowed Chair in Computational Genetics.

The Rosenfelds’ mark on education also is significant, having established the Eugene and Maxine Rosenfeld Scholarship fund in 1981, which has awarded 326 scholarships to date, and funding for the Rosenfeld Library at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Their $20 million commitment in 2018 revitalized the learning resource center, renamed Eugene & Maxine Rosenfeld Hall, and provided a state-of-the-art space for training medical students in the most advanced patient-care practices.

Maxine and Eugene Rosenfeld recognize the power of philanthropy and are dedicated to helping other people. Eugene Rosenfeld, who is the son of Russian immigrants, said he is grateful to UCLA for empowering his self-determination to forge his own path. “I owe a lot to UCLA,” he said. “We believe in giving back. If you’re fortunate in life, you should share it with other people.”

For more information, contact Larissa Harrison at: 310-592-5613