University of South Florida

USF Health remembers Timothy Ubben, who gave $5 million to fight pulmonary fibrosis

On Monday, Dec. 13, the University of South Florida announced a $5 million gift made by Naples philanthropist Timothy Ubben in November to create the Ubben Family Center for Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Sadly, that night he passed away at the age of 84.

Sharon and Timothy Ubben with Dr. Jose D. Herazo-Maya.

Housed in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the center will increase research to fight pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that causes lung scarring.

Through the final year of his personal battle with pulmonary fibrosis, Ubben wanted to help future patients have better options for fighting the condition. In February, USF announced Ubben’s first gift of $1 million to establish the Ubben Family Pulmonary Research Laboratory, led by Dr. Jose D. Herazo-Maya, associate chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine and director of the Ubben Program for Pulmonary Fibrosis Research in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

“Pulmonary fibrosis doesn’t get popular support or much research funding,” Ubben said in November. “I probably won’t be around to benefit from the results of Dr. Herazo’s research, but hopefully other pulmonary fibrosis patients will. I want him to find the cure, and I want him to do it at USF Health.”

Herazo began caring for Ubben as his pulmonologist in Naples, and he continued providing care after he moved to Tampa to join USF in January 2021.

“Mr. Ubben was a wonderful friend, and it is humbling to receive such support to lead this critical research,” Herazo said. “Pulmonary fibrosis is a devastating disease, and Mr. Ubben’s generous gift will help us better understand its root causes so we can expedite the discovery of new tests and treatments.”

“We are saddened by the news of Mr. Ubben’s passing,” said Dr. Charles Lockwood, USF Health senior vice president and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine. “We will do our best to honor his generosity and legacy as we work to find new therapies for pulmonary fibrosis patients.”

“It is inspiring how even while he was dealing with his own health challenges, Mr. Ubben was determined to help future patients through his philanthropy,” USF Foundation CEO Jay Stroman said. “We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, family and friends.”

Ubben founded Lincoln Capital Management, a successful Chicago-based investment firm, in 1967. Since retiring in 1999, he dedicated his time, resources and expertise in board leadership to nonprofit and educational organizations.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the USF Ubben Pulmonary Fibrosis Fund at or by calling Arty Giallourakis at 813-974-3676.

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