Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute benefits from support

Eye disease is a growing health concern in the United States. The cases of serious eye disease are expected to jump from 28 million today to more than 43 million in just 10 years. A generous grant from The Anschutz Foundation to the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Medicine and the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute paves the way for experts at the state-of-the-art institute to conduct new research in treating eye disease as well as expand programs for patients at the Anschutz Medical Campus.

The Anschutz Foundation gave $1 million toward this effort to take care of patients as well as conduct research with hopes of finding breakthroughs that lead to better care and service to those with cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.

Naresh Mandava, MD, chairman of the CU Denver School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology and executive director of the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute notes that these serious eye diseases steal vision from thousands of individuals every year.

“Left untreated,” said Mandava, “these diseases can cause serious vision loss and blindness. This grant allows us to not only better serve patients today, but also paves the way for new technology to be available for the growing number of people with poor eye health.”

University of Colorado Denver Chancellor M. Roy Wilson, MD, is a practicing ophthalmologist and sees firsthand how grants like this from The Anschutz Foundation, especially in tough economic times, truly make a difference in the community.

“This support demonstrates ongoing commitment from the Anschutz family that the campus named in their honor continues to deliver on the promise to provide the highest quality of care possible by funding research efforts that lead to new discoveries in treatment for people with eye disease.”

The Anschutz family’s imprint is prominent across campus with their donations surpassing $100 million. Capital construction support from The Anschutz Foundation was instrumental to the completion of a number of vital campus projects including the Anschutz Centers for Advanced Medicine; the Anschutz Cancer Pavilion; and the Center for Dependency, Addiction, and Rehabilitation.

The Anschutz Medical Campus is the largest academic health center between Illinois, Texas and the West Coast. The campus is home to the health sciences programs of the University of Colorado Denver as well as University of Colorado Hospital. CU Denver researchers have a proven record of success and expertise in innovation, discovery and commercialization of therapies, drugs and medical devices. Research accomplishments of being “the first” include the development of a classification and numbering system for human chromosomes, the identification of a genetic factor that converts normal cells into cancer cells, discovering that lymphocytes are preprogrammed to respond to antigens, the foundation of modern immunology, how a human cancer gene functions, and first to identify that naturally occurring proteins in the blood prevent the AIDS virus from reproducing and spreading to healthy cells. The Anschutz Medical Campus stands as a model across the nation for a successful redevelopment of a decommissioned army base.

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