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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 12, 2009

At A Glance

$1.5 million grant will advance vision research at UI

A four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health will help University of Iowa researchers study the cellular events that cause vision loss in glaucoma. The award was effective Aug. 1.

Led by Markus Kuehn, Ph.D., UI assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, the team will investigate the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells. The death of these cells leads to vision loss, but what initiates and specifically causes their death is not known.

Current glaucoma treatment aims to decrease intraocular pressure and does not target the cellular pathways that affect survival of retinal ganglion cells. By understanding and eventually acting on those pathways, vision loss possibly could be prevented.


JPEC, Small Business Center send businesses to business plan semi-finals

Three of the eight semi-finalists in this year's John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition are from the University of Iowa's Small Business Development Center and John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center.

The businesses -- Thinksafe, Starmatica and Bagolitas -- will make presentations to a panel of judges on Sept. 11. Three finalists will be selected from that group to present at the Iowa Venture Capital and Entrepreneurs Conference on Oct. 6 in Des Moines.

The top three finalists will share $50,000 in seed money for their businesses, while the remaining five semi-finalists will receive $1,000 each.

For more information, visit the competition Web site,


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