Newswise — LOS ANGELES — Singer and actress Selena Gomez made a donation to the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California (USC) to support lupus research. While the singer has been a longtime advocate for health programs and research, this is her first donation for efforts in relation to lupus research at USC.

She created the fund, called the “Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research,” that will initially support a pilot research program focused on treating complications of lupus, led by Janos Peti-Peterdi, MD, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics at the Keck School of Medicine.

“I continue to be optimistic about the progress being made in lupus research and am proud to support the promising work at Keck School of Medicine. I am hopeful for the millions of us around the world that may benefit from this,” Gomez said.

The research program potentially lays the foundation for targeted therapeutic treatment breakthroughs. This is a collaborative effort between Peti-Peterdi and Chaim Jacob, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at Keck School of Medicine, who specialize in lupus research.

“We are extremely pleased to partner with Selena in her efforts to promote awareness and medical research toward a much-needed cure for lupus,” Peti-Peterdi said. “Complications from systemic lupus cause serious damage, and we are hopeful that our research, with Selena’s support, will help those affected by this disease lead full, healthy lives.”

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects more than 1.5 million Americans and more than 5 million people worldwide. Currently there is no cure for lupus.

Peti-Peterdi is among the nation’s most prominent researchers looking at complications from lupus. His award-winning interdisciplinary research team are experts in the genetics and pathogenesis of lupus and have conducted groundbreaking work using state-of-the-art imaging techniques to model new methods for understanding the true sources of lupus complications.

Gifts to support the important work of the Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research can be made at


ABOUT THE KECK SCHOOL OF MEDICINE OF USCFounded in 1885, the Keck School of Medicine of USC is among the nation’s leaders in innovative patient care, scientific discovery, education, and community service. It is part of Keck Medicine of USC, the University of Southern California's medical enterprise, one of only two university-owned academic medical centers in the Los Angeles area. This includes the Keck Medical Center of USC, composed of the Keck Hospital of USC and the USC Norris Cancer Hospital. The two world-class, USC-owned hospitals are staffed by more than 500 physicians who are faculty at the Keck School. The school today has approximately 1,650 full-time faculty members and voluntary faculty of more than 2,400 physicians. These faculty direct the education of approximately 700 medical students and 1,000 students pursuing graduate and post-graduate degrees. The school trains more than 900 resident physicians in more than 50 specialty or subspecialty programs and is the largest educator of physicians practicing in Southern California. Together, the school's faculty and residents serve more than 1.5 million patients each year at Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital, as well as USC-affiliated hospitals Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. Keck School faculty also conduct research and teach at several research centers and institutes, including the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine at USC, the USC Cardiovascular Thoracic Institute, the USC Roski Eye Institute and the USC Institute of Urology.

In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked Keck School of Medicine among the Top 40 medical schools in the country. For more information, go to