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Parton donates $1MM to infectious disease research

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Dolly Parton sings at Austin City Limits Live as part of Blockchain Creative Labs’ Dollyverse event during the South by Southwest music festival on March 18, 2022 in Austin, Texas. Parton donated $1 million to pediatric infectious disease research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, the organization announced Wednesday, June 15.

Dolly Parton has donated $1 million to pediatric infectious disease research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, the organization announced Wednesday.

The new donation is one of several the country music superstar has made to the center over the years, including a $1 million gift in April 2020 for COVID vaccine research. That gift helped Vanderbilt researchers test a variety of drugs intended to reduce life-threatening symptoms associated with COVID-19, the center said in a news release. Researchers are also looking at entirely new therapies to treat COVID-19 and prevent infections.

Parton’s new gift will support a variety of ongoing research at the medical center, including understanding how viruses and bacteria cause disease, understanding and preventing antibiotic resistance, preventing and treating infections, the diagnosis and treatment of infections in children with cancer and the measurement of the impact of infections in children worldwide, according to the release.

“Dolly’s past support of infectious disease research, as well as our pediatric cancer program, has already saved countless lives,” said Dr. Jeff Balser, president and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “This new gift will bolster our defenses against future threats to the security of this region and society as a whole.”

Parton said she supports the work because she loves children.

“No child should have to suffer,” the star said in a statement. “I am willing to do my part to try to keep as many of them as healthy and as safe as possible.”

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