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Iowa's Carver College of Medicine Receives $7.8M to Support Genetics, Genomics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The University of Iowa's Carver College of Medicine has received a $7.8 million bequest to fund genetics and genomics research, and to fund new faculty positions.

The donation was provided by the remainder of the Franklin D. Trueblood Trust, the UI Foundation said Friday. UI alum Trueblood died in 1989 and fellow alum Elsie Foerstner managed his trust until she died earlier this year, at which point the remainder of the trust was designated for genetics research at the medical college.

The university is not sure yet precisely how it will spread out the funding, although the donation is likely to support the creation of a professorship and an endowed chair, and fund new and existing genetics and genomics research programs, a university spokesperson told GenomeWeb Daily News today.

A professorship costs between $1 and $1.5 million, and an endowed chair costs around $2 million, according to the university's Daily Iowan newspaper.

UI Carver College of Medicine Dean Debra Schwinn said the donation will fund research and patient care activities.

"This gift is important in making sure that cutting-edge genetic/genomic approaches are used to identify new causes of human disease, ensuring that the best and brightest scientists are recruited and retained in genetic medicine, and making available cutting-edge, clinical, genetic medicine to our patients," Schwinn said in a statement.

The medical college is a member of several campus institutes, including the Iowa Institute of Human Genetics, the UI Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, the UI Pappajohn Biomedical Institute, and the Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging. These and other research programs are supported by a number of core facilities providing infrastructure and resources for genome sequencing and editing, mass spectrometry and proteomics, bioinformatics, tissue procurement, gene transfer, and other activities.

The funding also will count toward UI's fundraising campaign to raise $1.7 billion by December 2016, of which around $704 million will be marked for biomedical activities, UI Foundation Spokesperson Dana Larson told GWDN.

Since the fundraising initiative launched in 2008 the UI campaign has raised $1.3 billion, Larson said.