University of Florida receives RPB Sanders Construction grant

Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) has awarded a prestigious, one-time laboratory grant of $600,000 to the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Florida, College of Medicine. The newly created laboratory will be permanently named the RPB Mildred Krahmer Sanders and William Clifford Sanders Laboratory for Vision Research ("RPB Sanders Laboratory"). RPB is the leading non-government supporter of eye research into cures and treatments for all causes of blindness and vision loss.

The RPB Sanders Laboratory will be used for vision research purposes only, fulfilling the Sanders' last wishes.

"We are very excited about receiving the RPB Sanders Construction grant," says William T. Driebe, Professor and Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Florida. "This laboratory space will significantly enhance our ability to conduct essential research into the basic mechanisms of normal vision and disease, and to develop translational projects that will create new therapies for diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and other retinal degenerations. The single core lab will house two electrophysiology suites for ultra-sensitive measurements of photoreceptor function in degenerating or rescued retinas, an ocular histology service, confocal and light microscopes, and equipment for testing visual function. Having the faculty in close proximity to the majority of our shared resources will provide more opportunities for interactions between scientific groups."

"Research to Prevent Blindness is extremely gratified to have collaborated on this forward-thinking gift from the Sanders' Trust," says Diane S. Swift, Chair of the Board of RPB. "RPB implemented a highly competitive grant application process for this new lab, and we have every confidence that researchers at the University of Florida's Department of Ophthalmology will take full advantage of this new resource to possibly produce cures and treatments at a time when more and more people are facing the isolating loss of sight."

William C. Sanders and Mildred Jeanette Krahmer Sanders worked for The Boeing Company for 40 years, William as an aerospace engineer and an executive in foreign engineering technology and Mildred in a variety of engineering support activities, ending her career as the librarian and manager of The Boeing Company's engineering library. The couple were world travelers and had high regard for advanced eye research. The RPB Sanders Laboratory is scheduled to open in 2015.

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