Pitt Athletics Leaders Assemble Ultimate Lineup to Support Pitt’s Center for Vaccine Research


PITTSBURGH—The leaders of Pitt Athletics have assembled the ultimate lineup of impactful teammates to support the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Vaccine Research (CVR), which is working to create a vaccine for the virus that causes the disease COVID-19.

The families of head football coach Pat Narduzzi, head men’s basketball coach Jeff Capel, head women’s basketball coach Lance White and director of athletics Heather Lyke made a combined $500,000 lead donation to CVR. They were then joined by the city’s three major professional sports franchises—the Penguins of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Pirates of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Steelers of the National Football League (NFL)—which each donated $100,000.

The result of this team effort is a grand total of $800,000 in support of Pittsburgh’s “scientific champions.”

“Nothing great in life is ever achieved alone,” Lyke said. “Pitt Athletics is honored to join forces with the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers in support of the Center for Vaccine Research and its extraordinary researchers. April marked the 65th anniversary of Dr. Jonas Salk’s victory over polio and it is apparent that funding for vaccine research remains as crucial as ever. David and I are proud to support CVR’s mission of making the world a healthier, safer place.”

“We are stunned by the generosity and support the Pittsburgh community has shown for our center over the past few months, most recently from Pitt Athletics and our local sports teams—the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins,” said Center for Vaccine Research director Paul Duprex, Ph.D. “That’s the legacy of Jonas Salk on this town. Pittsburgh understands the importance of vaccines, and we’re so grateful to be located here, where we can do our work to combat COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, knowing the community is behind us.”

“The University of Pittsburgh is a remarkable place with so many people doing life-changing work right here on our campus,” Narduzzi said. “We’re facing this challenge together, and we will only overcome it by working together. My wife Donna and I are honored to support Pitt’s scientists, and we can’t wait to yell ‘Hail to Pitt!’ when they achieve victory with a vaccine.”

“The University of Pittsburgh has an incredible history with vaccine discoveries,” Capel said. “My wife Kanika and I are blessed to be in position to partner with colleagues here at Pitt to make this contribution to the Center for Vaccine Research. Dr. Duprex and his team are doing heroic work and we are proud to support their effort to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Since our arrival two years ago, my wife Melanie and I have been so impressed by the University of Pittsburgh, its people and the great things they achieve every day,” White said. “We are proud to be part of the Pitt community and that feeling is magnified when you see the incredible work being done at the Center for Vaccine Research. It’s an honor to support Pitt’s researchers as they continue to make strides in this fight against COVID-19.”



Story credit to University of Pittsburgh.

Photo credit to Eilis Garvey/Unsplash.