Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 25, 2011

Russell appointed to new professorship in vision research

Stephen Russell, M.D., professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences with University of Iowa Health Care, is the inaugural recipient of the Dina J. Schrage Professorship in Macular Degeneration Research.

The professorship was established in the UI Carver Family Center for Macular Degeneration through a gift to the UI Foundation from the estate of Dina J. Schrage.

Schrage, of Merrillville, Ind., had age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people aged 60 and over. Prior to her death in 2007, Ms. Schrage selected the University of Iowa's Carver Family Center for Macular Degeneration as the beneficiary of her estate gift, which was to support macular degeneration research and further efforts to treat, cure and prevent the disease.

"We are very grateful for the generosity and forethought of Ms. Schrage. Her shared interest in developing effective treatments and a cure for macular degeneration is something we believe is achievable in the foreseeable future," said Edwin Stone, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Carver Family Center for Macular Degeneration, and holder of the Seamans-Hauser Chair in Molecular Ophthalmology.

Russell joined the faculty in the UI Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in 1996 and was promoted to professor in 2005. He serves as co-director for the Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery Service and has been recognized on the Best Doctors in America list since 1998. He has authored and contributed to over 60 peer-reviewed papers, numerous books and chapters. His research interests include establishing the validity of automated detection of diabetic retinopathy screening, new surgical techniques for macular hole repair and human gene replacement therapy to treat Leber congenital amaurosis.

"Steve Russell is committed to helping his patients overcome blinding eye diseases. This professorship will further strengthen our ability to take what we learn in the lab and apply it to patients with macular degeneration," said Keith Carter, M.D., professor and head of ophthalmology and visual sciences, who also holds the Lillian C. O'Brien and Dr. C. S. O'Brien Chair in Ophthalmology.

Russell received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and biology from Stanford University. He received a medical degree from the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine where he also completed his post-graduate internship. He subsequently completed an ophthalmology residency at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and a vitreoretinal fellowship at the University of Iowa.

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information, visit the UI Foundation's website at

Learn more about Schrage at

Learn more about Russell at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Care Media Relations, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room W319 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Brown, 319-356-7124,