Aloe Blacc

GRAMMY-nominated artist contributes to COVID research at UH

Aloe Blacc has a long list of titles: singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, husband, and father. With a generous contribution to the University of Houston (UH), he has just added another title — philanthropist.

“What inspires me is the possibility of making the world a better place for myself, my kids and others,” said Blacc, a Grammy-nominated artist. “I love using my art for positive social transformation, creating songs that make people smile and inspiring them to live their dreams.”

Blacc made a contribution this past spring to support COVID-19 research in the University of Houston’s College of Pharmacy. A search online led the Los Angeles-based artist to a study by Gomika Udugamasooriya, associate professor of medicinal chemistry in the College of Pharmacy at UH. Udugamasooriya’s research focuses on a “molecular mask” consisting of synthesized chemical compounds that would prevent the COVID virus from entering human cells.

“I had contracted COVID in January, and as I was in quarantine, I was really interested in what efforts had been made to not just vaccinate against COVID but to stop transmission,” said Blacc. “I feel that we still need to work toward a solution to end the pandemic.”

He hopes his gift will help speed up research results. Whether it involves supporting medical research or giving to causes that advance social and educational services, Blacc hopes everyone would strive to improve their communities, both locally and globally. He is doing his part to inspire others.

“I would encourage them to recognize that the world is all of ours to manage and to care for,” he said. “We have to share what we have, and donating is part of that sharing and part of making the world a better place.”

He adds, “We all have our respective skill sets, and with those skill sets, we can offer a little bit of our hearts.”