You probably know who Steve Wynn is, think casinos and Las Vegas and that how he made his way up the money pyramid. He also has a rare eye disease he was diagnosed with in his 20s and now has night blindness and has a lack of peripheral vision. Wynn is now 71 years old and stated in the article, all the mice, 100 of them now have his cells.
The money will help build a new laboratory at the University to grow stem cells and hire additional scientists. He had little to do with the University and gives credit to his director of his foundation with following the research over the last 20 years and suggested the University of a recipient. Wynn did state the donation was not to help himself specifically and we see that a lot as when someone has been touched personally with a disease they do seem to find organizations where donations can be put to work as more than just himself will benefit…what ever works is what I say and with NIH funds being tight I’m sure the school elated and they are naming the new institute after Steve Wynn. The website for the Institute can be found here. The video below tells the story. BD
Las Vegas casino tycoon Steve Wynn said Friday that he gave $25 million to support blindness research at the University of Iowa after becoming convinced that its scientists were leading the way in the search for a cure.
Wynn, 71, said that university researchers were "knocking on the door" of a discovery that was unthinkable when he was diagnosed with a rare eye defect when he was in his 20s. He said there was no hope then for individuals inflicted with diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, which has slowly compromised Wynn's vision and causes nighttime blindness and a lack of peripheral vision.
Today, he believes it is possible that within his lifetime, scientists will be able to use stem cells to restore vision by growing new cells that are not defective and transplanting them into patient's eyes. He spoke with amazement as he described how Iowa researchers have learned how to grow the cells and are testing them on mice, some of whom have been implanted with Wynn's cells.