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$10 million gift to Children’s Hospital from Chuck Lorre
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$10 million gift to Children’s Hospital from Chuck Lorre

The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation has pledged a total of $10 million to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to support research education for high school and college students from under-resourced communities throughout greater Los Angeles. Funding from Chuck Lorre, the veteran TV producer, through his foundation, creates sustained support for a continuum of science training and mentorship that begins when students are in high school and now extends into college. These programs will ultimately create a larger, more diverse pool of scientists, doctors, nurses, and health care professionals.

In recognition of the generous gift, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has created the Chuck Lorre Research Scholars Program (CLRSP), which welcomed its inaugural class in the summer of 2023. The program supports Los Angeles area college students, including student alumni from the Samuels Family Latino and African American High School Internship Program (LA-HIP) at CHLA. The Chuck Lorre Research Scholars each participate in 10 weeks of paid summer laboratory research after their freshman or sophomore year of college either at their current university, CHLA, or at a research institution of their choice, while receiving mentorship and career guidance from the director of the program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

After their first summer in the program, scholars can apply for continued financial support and research mentorship during their next year of college.

“When students are fully immersed in research, they can suddenly imagine a future in STEM where they can pursue their dreams,” says Chuck Lorre, the prolific TV writer, director and producer whose foundation has been a steadfast donor to the hospital. “That is what inspired me to establish this program.”

The first of its kind at CHLA, the Chuck Lorre Research Scholars Program creates a unique and valuable support system for students once they enter college to encourage them to continue their scientific studies. Immersive, hands-on training with the nation’s top medical researchers will provide students with invaluable exposure to real-world investigations in accredited laboratories.

Throughout the 10-week internship, students will receive one-on-one mentoring with the program director to discuss academic and career goals, and develop communication and presentation skills that will serve them well in pursuing a career in STEM.

Students will also have the opportunity to co-author scientific papers, network with other researchers at events and speaker seminars, and attend a national research conference to gain experience in professionally presenting their research accomplishments. These experiences will elevate their stature in the academic and scientific communities.

“In college students can run into various challenges—a lack of financial support, guidance and opportunities to perform research in a laboratory—which leads to them dropping out of the science pipeline,” says Emil Bogenmann, PhD, Director of the Chuck Lorre Research Scholars Program. “We’re focusing on bridging that gap, keeping them engaged and setting them up for success if they decide to go to graduate or medical school.”

The newly established Chuck Lorre Research Scholars Program broadens Lorre’s commitment to STEM education and supporting students who identify as an underrepresented minority in their quest to become scientists or clinician-researchers.

This gift from TCLFF also increases support for the students who study laboratory research through LA-HIP, a high school-level internship program at CHLA started by Dr. Bogenmann in 2005, which is aimed at increasing educational opportunities for juniors and seniors from inner-city schools around Los Angeles.

“We are thrilled to deepen our partnership with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to ensure more under-resourced students have a leg up to fulfill their dreams,” says Lorre. “These programs have tremendous potential to shape the future of science and health care by creating a more diverse workforce.”

During his expansive career, Lorre has created some of the most beloved programs of the last several decades, including “Mom,” “The Kominsky Method,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Young Sheldon,” and “The Big Bang Theory,” which inspired generations of young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

“There are structural barriers to historically minoritized communities participating in a career in science,” says Mark Frey, PhD, Director of LA-HIP and the Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine Research Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “Giving these students tangible support is simply the right thing to do. We’re grateful to the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation for sustaining this work for years to come.”

The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation has been supporting Children’s Hospital Los Angeles since 2016. Both Mr. Lorre and CHLA are dedicated to supporting the advancement of students from under-resourced communities in professional fields of science and medicine.

“Our mission is to fund innovative and compassionate organizations in the areas of STEM education, health and the arts,” says the foundation’s President and Chief Giving Officer Trisha Cardoso. “The Chuck Lorre Research Scholars Program and the Samuels Family LA-HIP align with this goal by investing in the futures of bright young professionals. We’re proud to support this endeavor and look forward to seeing the students flourish in the sciences.”

“Training the next generation of research and medical professionals is part of our institution’s DNA,” says Paul S. Viviano, President and Chief Executive Officer at CHLA. “We are also committed to caring for, and investing in, children and families from under-resourced communities. We thank Mr. Lorre for believing in young people who are passionate and poised to become the scientific leaders of the future.”

Founded in 1901, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is at the forefront of pediatric medicine and is the largest provider of hospital care for children in California. Children’s Hospital is home to renowned experts who work together across disciplines to deliver inclusive and compassionate care, and drive advances that set pediatric standards across the nation and around the globe. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles delivers a level of care that is among the best in the world for a truly diverse population of children. The hospital is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the nation on U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll of Best Children’s Hospitals, including No. 1 in California and No. 1 in the Pacific U.S. region. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles embraces the hospital’s mission to create hope and build healthier futures. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is among the top 10 children’s hospitals for National Institutes of Health funding. The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles supports the full continuum of research, allowing physicians and scientists to translate discoveries into treatments and bring answers to families faster.

The pediatric academic medical center also is home to one of the largest training programs for pediatricians in the United States. And the hospital’s commitment to building strong communities is evident in CHLA’s efforts to fight food insecurity, enhance health education and literacy, and introduce more people to careers in health care.

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