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Towsley Foundation Gives $1.5M for Ophthalmic Imaging Center at U-M Kellogg Eye Center


ANN ARBOR, MI – The University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center has received a $1.5 million grant from the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation to build a state-of-the-art Ophthalmic Imaging Center.
Diabetic Eye

The center, where images of the eye are captured to provide important information about eye disease, will play an expanded and pivotal role in a new Kellogg Eye Center clinical facility, scheduled to open in 2010.

“This advanced imaging center is essential for providing patients with the highest level of eye care, while serving as a key resource for our vision research and educational programs,” said Paul R. Lichter, F. Bruce Fralik Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

“Detailed images of the eye are used by ophthalmologists to help diagnose and treat eye disease, and such images also enable researchers to study the progression and treatment of diseases that affect so many individuals,” he notes. For medical residents and medical students, ophthalmic images are fundamental to understanding the disease process.

The new Ophthalmic Imaging Center, to be named for Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley, will be equipped with specialty cameras that record cross-sectional views and three-dimensional images of the retina, optic nerve, and other structures of the eye. The center will include six camera rooms, a photographic studio, a waiting area, and a large work space.

“We are deeply grateful for this generous gift from the Towsley Foundation, whose founders and family have provided support to the University of Michigan for so many years,” says Lichter. He observed that this is not the first time the Eye Center has been the recipient of a timely grant from the Foundation. “Over 20 years ago, Dr. Harry Towsley offered significant guidance and key philanthropic support as we developed the concept for what is now the W.K. Kellogg Eye Center,” he added.

Paul Lichter, MDSince its inception in 1959, the Towsley Foundation has supported a wide range of University and community initiatives in education, health care, and medical education, including gifts to the School of Music, the Center for the Education for Women, and the U-M Health System.

Both Harry and Margaret Towsley were graduates of the University of Michigan and continued to make lasting contributions throughout their lives. Dr. Towsley further served the U-M as professor of pediatrics and chairman of the post-graduate medicine department.

In the University’s current $2.5 billion Michigan Difference Campaign, the Towsley Foundation’s wide-ranging support has included leadership gifts toward the construction of the Charles R. Walgreen Jr. Drama Center and the Athletic Department’s Stephen M. Ross Academic Center as well as to the Harry A. and Margaret Towsley Policymaker in Residence program at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

The expanded Kellogg Eye Center, along with the Ophthalmic Imaging Center, will serve the growing number patients needing advanced eye care. Many of these new patients are part of an increasingly older population experiencing eye diseases that occur with age.

When the Eye Center opens in the spring of 2010, it will have increased by 50 percent the space for patient care, education, and research. And the Ophthalmic Imaging Center will be at the heart of the Eye Center’s efforts to find new treatments for such diseases as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.

For more information on eye photography at the Kellogg Eye Center, visit For more information on the new Eye Center facility, which will also house the Brehm Center for Type 1 Diabetes Research and Analysis, visit

Written by Betsy Nisbet


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