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Stephen A. Wynn has made a $25 million gift commitment to the
University of Iowa to support the UI’s Institute for Vision Research.
The gift, which was announced at today’s meeting of the Board of
Regents, State of Iowa held in Ames, will be used to accelerate progress
toward cures for rare, inherited retinal diseases.
“As a person who knows firsthand what it is like to lose vision from a
rare inherited eye disease, I want to do everything I can to help
others who are similarly affected keep the vision they have and
eventually get back what they have lost,” said Wynn, chairman and chief
executive officer of Wynn Resorts, Limited. “I am thrilled by the pace
of the scientific progress that has occurred in the past few years and I
feel that the prospect of finding a cure is possible and probable in
the short term and certain in the long term.”
Wynn added: “The army of clinicians and scientists at the University
of Iowa’s Institute for Vision Research have uncovered many of the
secrets of the genome and are now on the cusp of applying them in the
clinic. I never dreamed that I would witness such breakthroughs in my
lifetime but the breakthroughs are now at hand.”
“Philanthropic support is very important to all aspects of academic
medicine, but it is absolutely essential for developing treatments for
‘orphan’ disorders that occur in a few hundred people or less in the
entire country,” said Dr. Edwin Stone, the Seamans-Hauser Chair of
Molecular Ophthalmology and director of the Institute for Vision
Research. “Mr. Wynn’s generous gift will also help us maintain the very
valuable collaborative relationships we have developed with other vision
scientists around the world.”
“As a public research university working to solve some of society’s
greatest health and medical challenges, private support is critical to
our success,” said Sally Mason, president of the University of Iowa.
“This inspirational gift from Stephen Wynn will help accelerate the
Institute’s vision to eradicate blindness, and provide hope and
treatments for those suffering from eye diseases today.”
“My support is given on behalf of the millions of people worldwide
who awaken every day to a dark world. I am convinced that through people
like my colleague Steven Dezii and Institute scientists like Ed Stone
and Budd Tucker, we can find the light again. None of us will rest until
the lights are back on for everyone,” Mr. Wynn said.
The University of Iowa Foundation’s mission is to advance the University
of Iowa and fulfill the aspirations of those it serves. The
university’s dedicated contributors fund a broad array of needs, from
student scholarships, breakthrough research and life-changing health
care to innovative facilities, community outreach and global education.
The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel for private
contributions that benefit all areas of the University of Iowa. For more
information about the foundation and the campaign, visit the foundation
website at http://www.uifoundation.org.
Dana Larson, executive director, communications
and marketing, the University of Iowa Foundation; (319) 467-3661;
firstname.lastname@example.org. Dan Sandersfeld, director, creative services, the
University of Iowa Foundation; (319) 467-3862.
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