The National Eye Institute, an NIH agency dedicated to vision research, recently announced the winners of their Challenge to Identify Audacious Goals in Vision Research and Blindness Rehabilitation, or the Audacious Goals Challenge for short. The competition was open to professionals and members of the public and called upon them to think big and bold about vision research goals for the next decades. The prize money was nominal ($3,000) but included an invitation and travel money to attend and present their ideas at the NEI Audacious Goals Development Meeting in Maryland later this month. The real prize, of course, was the opportunity to help set research and funding goals for the next 10-12 years. Of the 500 or so proposals submitted, 10 visionaries were selected as winners.
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In 1995 Utah chemical industrialist Jon Huntsman donated $151M—$100M directly from family funds—to the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City to create a top-notch cancer center bearing his family's name: The Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI). Further contributions over the years brought Huntsman support to $300M. Now the family has made another gift to the Center in the amount of $41M, which HCI says will be used to hire more researchers and acquire new treatment technology.
New Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City: due to open in 2012.