PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Jeff Capel, Pat Narduzzi, Lance White, and Heather Lyke, along with their families, have made a $500,000 donation to Pitt’s Center For Vaccine Research.

Joining them are the three major Pittsburgh teams, the Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers, taking the total donation up to $800,000.

“Nothing great in life is ever achieved alone,” Said Heather Lyke, Pitt’s Athletic Director. “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.”

The support is being dubbed help for Pittsburgh’s “Scientific Champions.”

“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 in 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’s Center For Vaccine Research is currently working on a vaccine for COVID-19.

“The University of Pittsburgh has an incredible history with vaccine discoveries,” said men’s basketball Head Coach Jeff Capel. “My wife Kanika and I are blessed to be in a 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.”