Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

 

May 17, 2007

Photo: Keith D. Carter, M.D., professor and head of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Gifts Endow UI Ophthalmology Position; Carter Named To Chair In Ceremony

Gifts totaling more than $2 million have established the Lillian C. O'Brien and Dr. C.S. O'Brien Chair in Ophthalmology at the University of Iowa. The majority of the gift resources were bequeathed to the UI Foundation by the estate of Lillian C. O'Brien of Tucson, Ariz.; additional major support was provided through a gift to the UI Foundation by the estate of Martin P. Koke, M.D., of San Diego, Calif.

Keith D. Carter, M.D., professor and head of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, will be formally named the Lillian C. and Dr. C.S. O'Brien Chair in Ophthalmology at an investiture ceremony on Thursday, May 17. The ceremony will include a traditional academic gown processional.

Carter, who has been department head since 2006, has been on the UI faculty since completing a fellowship in oculoplastics and orbital surgery at the UI in 1988. He received his medical degree from Indiana University in 1983 and completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of Michigan in 1987.

Cecil Starling "C.S." O'Brien, M.D., established the UI ophthalmology department (formerly a part of the eye, ear, nose and throat department) in 1925 and served as its first chairman from that date until 1948. He died in 1977. The department's library, the C.S. O'Brien Library, is named in his memory. Lillian O'Brien died in 2006 at the age of 102. She had been a longtime supporter of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, and in 1996 supported the UI Carver Molecular Ophthalmology Laboratory with a gift of $500,000.

Jean E. Robillard, M.D., UI vice president for medical affairs and dean of the UI Carver College of Medicine, said the O'Brien Chair is appropriate recognition for Carter and an important step forward for medical research, education and patient care at the UI.

"Dr. Carter's appointment to this prestigious position is a testament to his distinguished contributions to the field of ophthalmology," Robillard said. "He is internationally recognized for his scientific research and is an outstanding leader in the global ophthalmology community. Equally important, Dr. Carter is deeply committed to resident and fellow education.

"We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the O'Brien and Koke families through the years, especially in creating the Lillian C. O'Brien and Dr. C.S. O'Brien Chair," Robillard added. "Permanently named, endowed faculty positions ensure that the UI can attract and retain international leaders in disciplines throughout the UI Carver College of Medicine, and advance crucial research."

Martin P. Koke, M.D., who completed a residency and earned an M.S. degree in ophthalmology from the UI in 1941, studied under C.S. O'Brien, and was a generous supporter of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. He practiced ophthalmology in San Diego and was the founding chairman of the San Diego Eye Bank, now one of the largest eye banks in the United States. He was married to Editha Flannagan Koke (B.A. 1929; M.A. 1930), who died in 1993. Martin Koke died in 2000.

Under C.S. O'Brien's leadership, the UI ophthalmology department became known throughout the world for its teaching and research. That reputation continues today, with the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences ranked sixth by U.S.News & World Report in the magazine's 2006 "Best Hospitals" rankings. The department is renowned for its molecular ophthalmology research and is a leader in the fields of age-related macular degeneration and genetic ophthalmologic diseases.

The Lillian C. O'Brien and Dr. C.S. O'Brien Chair in Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences is the sixth named, endowed chair in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and the 31st in the UI Carver College of Medicine.

For more information about the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, visit its web site at www.uihealthcare.com/depts/med/ophthalmology

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information about the UI Foundation, visit its web site at www.uiowafoundation.org.

PHOTOS: A high-resolution image of Dr. Keith Carter is available: http://www.uifoundation.org/news/2007/images/mug-CarterKeith-highrez.jpg

A web-quality image also is available:

http://www.uifoundation.org/news/2007/images/mug-CarterKeith.jpg

STORY SOURCE: UI Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City Iowa 52244-4550

CONTACT 1: Flynn Andrizzi, senior vice president, development, University of Iowa Foundation, 319-335-3305 or (800) 648-6973), mailto:flynn-andrizzi@uiowa.edu.

CONTACT 2: Andrea Birt, assistant director of development University of Iowa Foundation; 319-335-3305 or (800) 648-6973, mailto:andrea-birt@uiowa.edu.

WRITER: Nic Arp