Wynn, who suffers from retinitis pigmentosa a rare eye disease, will have the new vision research institute to be opened at the University named in his honor in recognition of the casino owner’s generosity and support.
Steve Wynn / Getty
/ By Stanley Green /
Steve Wynn is one out of every 4000 people who suffer from retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that causes both night blindness as well as weakness of peripheral vision, a condition that is having a gradual effect on his eyesight.
During the course of his treatment for the condition, Wynn has formed a longstanding friendship with Professor Edwin Stone, head of the ophthalmology department at the University of Iowa, and is currently head of the institute which is totally involved in research into vision disorders.
The University of Iowa will name the new Institute for Vision Research in honor of Stephen A. Wynn to recognize a $25 million gift from the Las Vegas businessman. The new Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research will have a mission to propel the institute into a world-leading role in the eradication of human blindness through research, education and clinical care.
Announcing his donation Wynn, stated that as someone with firsthand knowledge of what it is like to gradually lose vision from a rare inherited eye disease, I want to do everything I can to help others who are similarly affected keep the vision they have and eventually get back what they have lost.
Plans are that eventually a team of around 130 researchers will be employed at the institute will study and develop new treatments against the genetic factors that contribute to blindness. The institute will continue to host interdisciplinary vision research, continuing their work which over the past two decades has increasingly generated collaboration between experts in medicine, engineering as well as public health.
Estimates are that the Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research will cost around $11 million to operate during its first year, with that figure liable to increase to $18.5 million by its fifth year. The vast majority of that funding will come from gifts and grants, with some of the institutes particular patrons expected to include the National Institutes of Health, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as well as the Foundation Fighting Blindness.
The role of the institute will be to study the rare conditions like retinitis pigmentosa, which Wynn suffers from, and Leber congenital amaurosis as well as the common causes of human blindness, such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.
According to Professor Stone a cure for blindness is not so far away, with progress already been made in several different directions
Steve Wynn’s company currently owns and operates two casinos in Las Vegas: Wynn Las Vegas and Encore at Wynn Las Vegas although Wynn, was also known for his tremendous vision saw him plan and oversee the construction of such famous Las Vegas casino icons as The Mirage, Treasure Island and the Bellagio, which have since been sold on by Wynn.
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