The UCLA Division of Life Sciences has received a $500,000 gift from the Charles Huang Foundation to support the research of Genhong Cheng, a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics and a member of the UCLA Molecular Biology Institute, California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA and the Tumor Immunology Program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“Dr. Cheng’s work exemplifies a key mission of our division: exploring the most important scientific questions we face today,” said Tracy Johnson, Dean of Life Sciences at UCLA. “The last few years have clearly illustrated the need to understand the way the immune system works, and Dr. Cheng’s research has far-reaching implications — from understanding infection and inflammation to uncovering new approaches to treating cancer.”
“We are grateful for the Charles Huang Foundation’s gift, which not only supports faculty and their research, but will also help drive innovation in infectious disease and cancer science,” said Jerome Zack, UCLA distinguished professor and MIMG department chair.
“Supporting basic science research is incredibly important,” said Charles Huang, chairman of the Charles Huang Foundation. “We are pleased to support Genhong Cheng, an accomplished faculty member who’s making important strides in cancer research.”
Cheng’s laboratory hopes to understand both the similarities and differences in host immune responses to infections by different types of pathogens. In addition, the lab aims to better appreciate how we balance immune and inflammatory responses, and how these responses influence other homeostatic and metabolic processes, with the ultimate goal of developing novel strategies to enhance our immune system against infections and tumor challenges while preventing or inhibiting inflammatory and metabolic diseases.
“Support from the Charles Huang Foundation will enhance our ability to perform pioneering research, ensure inclusive teaching and accelerate basic discoveries to translation,” said Cheng.
The Charles Huang Foundation was established in 2020 by entrepreneur Charles Huang with a mission to accelerate and encourage education, health-related research and entrepreneurship on a global platform. Through the foundation, Huang has also made substantial donations to the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, Wuhan University in China, the Chinese Hospital in San Francisco and USC Arcadia Hospital in Arcadia.