Dolly Parton recently donated $1 million to fund COVID-19 vaccine research at the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center.
A new report says Parton became friends with a Vanderbilt University surgeon after a car accident in 2013. At the start of the pandemic, the surgeon showed Parton some of the research the university is doing. It involves using antibodies from COVID-19 survivors to formulate a vaccine candidate. Parton saw the importance of the research and says she wanted to help.
The singer donated $1 million to the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, working on synthetic antibodies to the virus.
Parton has a long and storied history of philanthropy. In the mid-1980s, she created the Dollywood Foundation. She built the Dollywood park to create jobs in an impoverished area of Tennessee.
Her Imagination Library sends a book every month to kids who are enrolled. It provides over 850,000 books to children around the world. Dolly Parton has also worked to raise money for other causes, like HIV/AIDS charities and the American Red Cross. So what’s her $1 million buying at the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center?
James Crowe, the director of VVC, described the process of vaccine creation. “We’ll look at about 20 different antibodies in mice, and we’ll end up with two of them in monkeys. The first human trials of an antibody are likely to be in the June to August window,” he says.
Meanwhile, Dolly Parton has been named Tennessean of the Year by the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. The award recognizes individuals and organizations that make significant contributions to society through sports or other methods.
“This may come as a shock to most of you, but I’m not very athletic,” Parton joked when learning of the honor. “I just couldn’t find tennis shoes, cleats, or blades with five-inch heels, so I gave up and settled for music.”