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The Carver Chair in Molecular Genetics was established in 2006 with a $2.5 million endowment from the Carver family: Lucille A. Carver of Muscatine, Iowa, who is the widow of Roy J. Carver Sr., who died in 1981; John and Marcia Carver of Rapids City, Illinois; Martin G. and Ruth A. Carver of Muscatine, Iowa; and Roy J. Carver Jr. of Bettendorf, Iowa. The Carver family is a long-time and very generous supporter of The University of Iowa, especially in the health sciences.This chair has been awarded to Val C. Sheffield, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pediatrics and ophthalmology in the UI Carver College of Medicine and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Sheffield directs the Laboratory for Disease Gene Discovery. Its goal is to identify and characterize genes involved in hereditary human disease with special emphasis placed on the study of hereditary retinopathies including age-related macular degeneration. The main strategies used by the laboratory are genetic mapping methods and genomic resources to identify disease genes based on their function and/or position within the genome.