Nov 3, 2008    #103
Contact: John Austin

Dr. Peter Koulen named Sabates Chair in Vision Research Renowned scientist will lead efforts to research and prevent vision loss

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Medicine, in conjunction with the UMKC Vision Research Center and Truman Medical Center, have announced the appointment of Peter Koulen, Ph.D., to serve as the Felix and Carmen Sabates Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research. Dr. Koulen comes to UMKC from the University of North Texas in Fort Worth, where he has served as a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience and director of the North Texas Eye Institute.

“I am very grateful to the Vision Research Foundation of Kansas City for funding an endowed chair that supports the recruitment of Dr. Peter Koulen to UMKC and the Department of Ophthalmology,” said Betty M. Drees, dean of the UMKC School of Medicine. “Dr. Koulen is an outstanding scientist, and his research leadership will allow the Vision Research Center to pursue its mission of understanding and preventing diseases that cause blindness. This is the type of research that translates new discoveries into improved health and well being in our community.”

Dr. Koulen’s current research interests have focused on the underlying mechanisms of action and development of pharmacological and molecular biological treatments for disorders of the renal and visual system and for cognitive decline during aging and Alzheimer’s disease.

“The Vision Research Foundation of Kansas City is pleased to have Dr. Peter Koulen as the Felix and Carmen Sabates Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research. We are confident his expertise will facilitate the Vision Research Center in becoming the premier vision research center in the Midwest,” said Nelson R. Sabates, M.D., professor of Ophthalmology and chairman, Department of Ophthalmology, UMKC School of Medicine, and president of the Vision Research Foundation of Kansas City. “Dr. Koulen will assist us in accomplishing our goal of being a leader in basic and clinical research. The Vision Research Center is important not only for the medical community but also for the life sciences initiative in Kansas City.”

Dr. Koulen earned his M.S. and Ph.D. at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany, followed by post-doctoral fellowships at the Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany, and the Yale University School of Medicine in the United States. He is a regular presenter at scientific meetings and the author of numerous publications.

“We are honored for the recognition of the Chair in Vision Research, and extremely pleased that Dr Peter Koulen will be the first in this position,” said Dr. and Mrs. Felix N. Sabates, M.D. in a joint statement. Felix Sabates is a professor and past chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the UMKC School of Medicine. He is the founder of the Department of Ophthalmology, which was established in 1971. “The Vision Research Center will become a world class research facility under the leadership of Dr Koulen and his team, bringing recognition to Kansas City as part of the international network of Centers working to find the causes and prevention of blindness.”

About the UMKC Vision Research Center

At the UMKC Vision Research Center, doctors, scientists, and clinical researchers from the UMKC School of Medicine, the UMKC School of Pharmacy, Truman Medical Center, and others work together to find new solutions and bring vision for the future.

About UMKC

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Celebrating 75 years, UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban engagement.

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