CONTACT: STEVE SANDERS
Director of Development
CONTACT: TODD REDING
Associate Director of Development
UI College of Medicine/University Hospitals and Clinics
UI Foundation News
500 Alumni Center
Iowa City IA 52242
Research on mental retardation funded by UI graduate's bequest
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A $150,000 gift from the estate of UI graduate Velma
P. Bredahl of Exira, Iowa, will be used by researchers at the University
of Iowa to study one of the most common causes of inherited mental retardation.
The estate gift to the University of Iowa Foundation created the Julius
and Velma Bredahl Research Fund at the University of Iowa Foundation and
will be used by staff members at the University Hospital School (UHS) to
study the relationship between Fragile X Syndrome, a common genetic disorder,
and severe behavior disorders. Fragile X Syndrome takes its name from
an abnormality in the X chromosome. Experts estimate the incidence for
Fragile X is one in every 1,200 males and one in every 2,000 females.
"This generous gift will provide the funding for an important study,"
said David Wacker, professor of Applied Behavior Science at University
Hospital School. "We are planning a two-year study using facilities
at the University Hospital School, the UI College of Medicine, the clinical
programs of the Children's Hospital of Iowa, and through outreach to other
children's health facilities in the state."
Velma Bredahl received a bachelor's degree from the UI in 1919. Her
husband, Julius, received pharmacy degrees from Iowa in 1922 and 1924.
After graduation, the couple moved to Exira, Iowa, where they opened a
pharmacy and were active members of the community for many years.
Through their wills, the Bredahls established a trust, maintained by
the Exchange State Bank of Exira, Iowa, that provided many years of support
for their daughter, Carolyn, who was mentally retarded. Carolyn died in
July 1996; her brother died earlier. The Bredahls specified that after
Carolyn's death, a portion of the trust should go to the UI to support
research for mentally retarded children.
Created by the state of Iowa 50 years ago, the University Hospital School
provides health-related services to families and individuals with developmental
disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, mental retardation,
and behavior and communication disorders.
Collaborating with local, state, and national agencies and organizations,
UHS staff work in community-based settings to meet the complex needs of
people with disabilities. Staff also train health care professionals and
others who work with children and adults who have disabilities; conduct
research; and share information with individuals and organizations throughout
the state. (UHS Web page: http://www.uiowa.edu/uhs
The University of Iowa Foundation, the preferred channel of support
to all areas of the university, works closely with alumni and friends to
establish and maintain private resources that can be used for medical research,
student financial aid, faculty development, and equipment and facilities
projects in departments and programs across campus.