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Release: Feb. 9, 2001

Grant from Knights Templar Eye Foundation to promote eye research

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Center for Macular Degeneration recently received a $15,000 grant from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation to produce video programs promoting eye research.

The grant, presented at a ceremony Jan. 19, will fund the development of two promotional videos. Both videos showcase the success of research completed by recipients of Knights Templar grants for their research programs. The first, shorter video has been sent to ophthalmology programs nationwide in an effort to create an interest for sending grant applications to the organization, said Sara Imhof, program associate in the UI Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

The second video, a longer version, will be produced later this year and will showcase the research program's successes and be sent to the Knights Templar organizations across the country. This video will allow all Knights Templar members to see firsthand the benefits of their fundraising efforts for ophthalmology research.

Imhof said the UI has worked with the Knights Templar Eye Foundation on several occasions in the past and thus was chosen to produce these video programs. For example, the UI Molecular Ophthalmology Lab was created when its director, Edwin Stone, M.D., Ph.D., UI professor of ophthalmology, received his first grant from the Knights Templar in the mid-1980s. Stone is also the current director of the UI Center for Macular Degeneration.

Randy Verdick, educational media coordinator in the UI Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, traveled to ophthalmology labs at Baylor University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University and Vanderbilt University in order to produce these videos. Key researchers at these institutions also began their programs with funding from Knights Templar.

The Knights Templar Eye Foundation was formed in 1956 to provide assistance to those who face loss of sight and to aid ophthalmology research. The foundation is sponsored by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar, and has awarded over $5 million in research grants for pediatric ophthalmology and developmental biology.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.