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<p>The first shovels of dirt will be turned Oct. 7 for the ceremonial start of construction on the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.</p>

Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute to Advance Eye Research at Indiana University Department of Ophthalmology

The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute will house the Indiana University Department of Ophthalmology, which is observing its 100th anniversary. With actual construction beginning later this year, the building should be ready for patient visits by the summer of 2010.

The groundbreaking ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. under a tent adjacent to the building site and immediately west of Long Hospital, the first hospital on the campus and a medical center landmark.

Construction of the Glick Eye Institute was made possible with a $30 million gift from the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Family Foundation. The funds will consolidate the three missions of the IU Department of Ophthalmology – patient care, research and education – in a modern edifice of colorful glass, brick and limestone.

“The number of people suffering from vision loss will double over the next five years as our population ages,” said Robert D. Yee, M.D., chair of the IU Department of Ophthalmology and the Merrill Grayson Professor of Ophthalmology. “This new building, combining research, patient care and education, will be an important resource for people in central Indiana and beyond. Gene and Marilyn Glick will touch the lives of thousands of people of all ages with their generous gift to preserve sight.”

The four-story, 70,000-square-foot building, which will be on the northeast corner of Michigan Street and West Drive, will house the adult outpatient clinic, ophthalmology classrooms, an optical shop, a basic science research center, faculty and administrative offices, graduate student meeting rooms and space for program expansion. Nearly half of the building will be dedicated to space for research.

The Glick Foundation gift included $10 million to the School of Medicine to start an endowment that will advance research in eye diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and other eye diseases of aging, as well as eye diseases in children.

“It is my hope that some day researchers will find a way to prevent or cure glaucoma, macular degeneration and other diseases that rob us of our sight,” said Marilyn Glick. “My dream is that as a result of our gift, major breakthroughs will be made at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute of the Indiana University School of Medicine.” Mrs. Glick has devoted over a quarter of a century as a volunteer for the prevention of blindness in Indiana.

Since 1908, the IU ophthalmology department has offered the only medical education program for ophthalmologists in the state. It also is the hub of research for eye diseases at the IU School of Medicine and a respected clinical care center for people suffering from vision loss due to heredity, disease or injury. Notably, the most complete laboratory in the world quantifying blood flow in the back of the eye is located at the IU School of Medicine.

The Glick Eye Institute will allow for an increase in the number of faculty, doubling the researchers and physicians dedicated to finding solutions to vision loss. The first full-time ophthalmology faculty member was appointed in 1949. Today, the department numbers 17 full-time clinical and research faculty; 18 residents; five clinical fellows; 24 adjunct, part-time, and volunteer faculty; and 94 staff members.

As the only medical school ophthalmology department in Indiana, more than 500 residents and fellows have been trained in the field and over half of all Indiana ophthalmologists are alumni of the IU program.

Alumni, faculty, staff, friends, and others will celebrate the centennial of the founding of the IU Department of Ophthalmology Oct 10-12 with a medical education conference, “Advances in Ophthalmology: The Future is Here,” social events and a celebratory dinner.

For additional information on the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute and the IU Department of Ophthalmology at the IU School of Medicine, see