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CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-9917
e-mail:becky-soglin@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

UI receives grants from Research to Prevent Blindness

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Researchers in the University of Iowa department of ophthalmology and visual sciences have received two grants from Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB), the world's leading voluntary organization supporting eye research.

Thomas A. Weingeist, M.D., Ph.D., professor and head of ophthalmology and visual sciences, said the department was awarded an unrestricted grant of $100,000 to support research into the causes, treatment and prevention of blinding diseases. In addition, an RPB Senior Scientific Investigator Award of $60,000 has been granted to Robert Folberg, M.D., UI professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences and pathology.

This is the second time that Folberg has received a prestigious RPB investigator award. The grant will be used to support the study of the microcirculation of melanoma inside the eye.

Weingeist said the department greatly appreciates the two awards as well as past support provided by RPB. To date, the organization has awarded grants totaling more than $1.5 million to the department.

"Without the support of RPB, we would not have been able to create the UI Center for Macular Degeneration or the cutting edge research program within the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences," said Weingeist.

Since it was founded in 1960 RPB has channeled more than $162 million to medical institutions throughout the United States for research into blinding eye diseases.

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