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Release: Immediate

Eye laboratory named for former faculty member

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- An important laboratory in the University of Iowa Center for Macular Degeneration will be named the Hansjoerg E. Kolder Electrodiagnostic Laboratory to honor a former faculty member in the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences in the UI College of Medicine.

The announcement was made today by Dr. Thomas Weingeist, professor and head of ophthalmology, at the Iowa Eye Alumni annual meeting. The designation comes as a result of an estate gift of $100,000 made by a grateful patient to the UI Foundation in honor of Dr. Kolder. The purpose of the gift is to establish a permanent endowment to support the lab.

"Dr. Kolder was a pioneer in electrophysiology of the eye, a beloved teacher, a role model and an outstanding clinician and surgeon in the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences," Weingeist said in his announcement.

Clinicians and researchers in the department use the facility to diagnose and study hereditary and acquired retinal diseases that can lead to blindness. The diagnostic laboratory is the only clinical laboratory of its kind in Iowa and one of the few in the Midwest.

Kolder was born in Vienna, Austria in 1926 and received a medical degree and a doctorate from the University of Vienna. He is responsible for describing the electro-oculogram (EOG) and other electrodiagnostic phenomena used in evaluating patients with abnormalities of the visual system.

He was recruited to the UI by the late Dr. Frederick C. Blodi in 1968, at which time he simultaneously held a position as associate professor and completed a residency in clinical ophthalmology. In 1973 he was appointed professor. Although a "generalist," Kolder excelled in all areas of ophthalmology and was comfortable performing all types of ophthalmic surgery. For more than two decades he was responsible for teaching residents the fundamentals of ophthalmology and cataract surgery.

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel of giving to the university.