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SOURCE University of Iowa
IOWA CITY, Iowa, Oct. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- University of Iowa President Sally Mason today presided over the naming ceremony for the UI Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research on the campus of the UI, one of the nation's top public research universities. The institute was named in honor of Mr. Wynn's $25 million gift commitment, which has significantly accelerated the organization's mission to prevent and cure blinding eye diseases that affect millions of people worldwide.
"The University of Iowa has the right team, combining interdisciplinary researchers across eight departments and four colleges, to make major progress toward curing blindness," said UI President Sally Mason. "Mr. Wynn's inspirational gift provides the resources that will help make finding treatments and cures a reality. We are proud that the Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research is an integral part of the UI."
Wynn, chairman and chief executive officer of Wynn Resorts, Limited, said, "As a person who knows firsthand what it is like to lose vision from a rare inherited eye disease, I want to do everything I can to help others who are similarly affected keep the vision they have and eventually get back what they have lost. I am thrilled by the pace of the scientific progress that has occurred in the past few years and I feel that the prospect of finding a cure is possible and probable in the short term and certain in the long term."
"Philanthropic support, like Mr. Wynn's generous gift, is very important to all aspects of academic medicine, but it is absolutely essential for developing treatments for 'orphan' disorders that occur in a few hundred people or less in the entire country," said Dr. Edwin Stone, the Seamans-Hauser Chair of Molecular Ophthalmology and director of the UI Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research.
The UI Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research's efforts are divided into three major areas: genetic testing, gene therapy and patient-derived stem cell research. Using a targeted research approach, and with sufficient resources, scientists of the institute are confident that many forms of heritable blindness will become treatable within the next 10 years, and that many patients who have lost vision from one of these disorders will be able to get some of it back.
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