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University of Iowa News Release

 

Oct. 9, 2007

Hageman appointed to Iowa Entrepreneurial Endowed Professorship

Gregory Hageman, Ph.D., professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, has been appointed to an Iowa Entrepreneurial Endowed Professorship. The appointment, which began July 1, will last three years.

Funds for the endowed professorship are made possible, in part, by a May 2006 appropriation by the Iowa General Assembly that funded a total of $20 million in economic development initiatives at the three regent universities. Of this, $2 million was allocated to the UI to help create two endowed professorship and/or entrepreneur-in-residence programs, which allow release time for faculty to develop entrepreneurial plans based on their research.

The professorship provides $100,000 in support -- $50,000 from the endowed fund and $50,000 in matching funds from the UI Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Hageman, who has been a UI faculty member since 1997, studies age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In conjunction with other research groups worldwide, his laboratory has identified genes that account for nearly three out of four cases of AMD. The team seeks to learn more about the genes' roles in causing AMD and other inflammation-based diseases, with the eventual goal of developing diagnostic tools and treatments.

Creation of the entrepreneurial professorships was one of several research and commercialization goals that were identified in 2006 by the Battelle Report, commissioned by the state, in conjunction with the UI Office of the Vice President for Research, following extensive interviews with faculty. The core goals are all based on areas of research excellence that have the greatest potential for advancing economic development in Iowa.

"The Iowa Entrepreneurial Endowed Professorships are key to advancing the development of university discoveries from the laboratory bench into new therapeutics and new products," said Meredith Hay, Ph.D., UI vice president for research. "Professor Hageman's passion and dedication to this vision make him the ideal candidate for the first Iowa Entrepreneurial Endowed Professorship.

"With this essential support from the state and other funding, Professor Hageman -- and in the future, other UI faculty -- will have the dedicated time to apply their leadership skills, expertise and ingenuity to carrying out one of the university's essential missions and help spark both regional and statewide economic growth," Hay added.

"The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences is excited and eager to support Dr. Greg Hageman's appointment to this endowed professorship. Dr. Hageman's dedication, research achievements and entrepreneurial interest will benefit the university, our department and the people of the State of Iowa," said Keith Carter, M.D., professor and head of the UI Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Hageman earned a doctorate in biology in 1983 from the University of Southern California. His early research efforts were focused on retinal cell biology; in 1988, he began to study AMD, when he began to learn more about blinding eye diseases.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACTS: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032, david-pedersen@uiowa.edu; Becky Soglin, 319-335-6660, becky-soglin@uiowa.edu

PHOTOS: http://webeye.ophth.uiowa.edu/dept/BIOGRAPH/hagemapx.htm