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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 31, 2007

Stone reappointed as Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator

Edwin Stone, M.D., Ph.D., who holds the Seamans-Hauser Chair of Molecular Ophthalmology and is professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, has been renewed until 2012 as an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). First appointed in 2002, Stone is the only ophthalmologist ever appointed to the institute.

In addition to caring for patients at UI Hospitals and Clinics, Stone directs the UI Molecular Ophthalmology Laboratory and the UI Carver Family Center for Macular Degeneration. He has led or co-led national and international research teams that have located dozens of genes responsible for inherited eye diseases and identified hundreds of specific disease-causing mutations.

A current major effort, Project 3000, focuses on finding the causes and eventual cures for Leber congenital amaurosis, a rare blinding eye disease that affects individuals in childhood. The project aims to serve as a model for studying rare genetic diseases. HHMI featured the effort at, and more information may be found at

"Dr. Stone's reappointment to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute is a well-deserved recognition and opportunity for him to further unique research in eye disease," said Jean Robillard, M.D., UI vice president for medical affairs and dean of the UI Carver College of Medicine. "I'm delighted for him and the research teams he directs, as well as the department, college and university as a whole."

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, based in Maryland, was founded in 1953 by aviator-industrialist Howard Hughes to promote the basic sciences and the effective application of findings to benefit humankind. The institute supports investigators who research cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience and structural biology at academic medical centers and universities. HHMI provides salaries, laboratory space and equipment for investigators and their research teams.

In addition to Stone, current HHMI investigators at the UI include:

Kevin Campbell, Ph.D., professor and head of molecular physiology and biophysics who holds the Roy J. Carver Biomedical Research Chair in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics; Val Sheffield, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pediatrics who holds the Martin and Ruth Carver Chair in Genetics; and Michael Welsh, M.D., professor of molecular physiology and biophysics who holds the Roy J. Carver Chair of Internal Medicine and Physiology and Biophysics.

Stone earned a bachelor's degree in biology and English from Rice University. He received a doctorate in cell biology and a medical degree through the medical scientist training program at Baylor College of Medicine. After an internship at St. Joseph Hospital in Houston, he completed a residency in ophthalmology and a fellowship in vitreoretinal diseases and surgery, both at UI.

For more information about Stone's research, visit the UI Carver Family Center for Macular Degeneration online at and the HHMI at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACTS: Joe Schmidt, UI Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, 319-384-8529,; Becky Soglin, UI Health Science Relations, 319-335-6660,