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Pitt Coaches, Pro Teams Donate $800K to Vaccine Effort

Andy Berg

Members of the University of Pittsburgh athletics department, as well as local professional teams, are hoping to give Pitt's Center for Vaccine Research a leg up in finding a COVID-19 vaccine.

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 the CVR.

They were then joined by the city's three major professional sports franchises — the Penguins of the National Hockey League, the Pirates of Major League Baseball and the Steelers of the National Football League — which each donated $100,000. 

"Nothing great in life is ever achieved alone," Lyke said in a press release. "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."

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