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


July 30, 2009

Illinois couple commits $1 million for UI epilepsy research

University of Iowa researchers' quest to find more effective treatments for epilepsy received a boost with the recent gift commitment of $1 million from Beth L. and Nathan R. Tross of Highland Park, Ill.

The gift, made through the UI Foundation, establishes the Beth L. Tross Epilepsy Research Fund in the Department of Neurosurgery, a unit of the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Matthew A. Howard III, M.D., the chair of the department of neurosurgery, said the gift will significantly accelerate efforts to discover new treatments for epilepsy.

"We are extremely grateful for the Trosses' gift," Howard said. "We intend eventually to use the Tross Fund to endow a professorship that will ensure that top UI faculty always have the financial resources necessary for advancing world-class epilepsy research."

Beth Tross, a Montessori school teacher who attended the UI from 1978 to 1983, has epilepsy. Nate Tross, a broker and trader on the Chicago Board of Trade who earned a bachelor's degree in economics from the UI in 1982, said the couple's gift reflects their respect for Howard's work and for their alma mater.

"We are very pleased to support epilepsy research at the UI," said Tross, who serves on the UI Foundation Board of Directors. "We have seen with Beth how effective treatments can control epilepsy, and we want to ensure that no avenue of discovery for improving treatments or finding a cure goes unexplored due to lack of resources."

The Trosses have longtime ties to the university. In addition to the couple's own educational experiences there, Beth Levitt Tross's grandfather, parents, brothers and other family members are UI alumni -- and the couple's oldest son begins his freshman year at the university in the fall of 2009.

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 foundation, visit its Web site at

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Tom DePrenger, Principal Gifts, Health Sciences Development, 319-335-3305 or 800-648-6973, or Susan Shullaw, UI Foundation Strategic Communications, 319-335-3305 or 800-648-6973,

PHOTOS: A high-resolution image of Beth L. and Nathan R. Tross is available:

A Web-quality image also is available: