Baylor Biology Researcher To Receive Grant in Check Presentation

Oct. 12, 2010

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Dr. Sang-Chul Nam, assistant professor of biology at Baylor University, has received a $40,000 grant from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation to study the Leber congenital amaurosis, an inherited eye disease that appears at birth or in the first few months of life. It affects around 80,000 people in the U.S.

The Knights Templar will present Nam with a check during a ceremony at 8 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 13, in room E.234 of the Baylor Sciences Building. Participants in the ceremony include Nam, Dr. Truell Hyde, vice provost for research at Baylor and Jerral Knox, a representative from the Knights Templar.

The money will fund Nam's research into how gene mutations factor into that particular eye disease. Mutations in the human Crumbs gene cause several different eye diseases with mild mutations causing late-onset eye degeneration while severe mutations cause early-onset eye disease.

Scientists have discovered that human Crumbs share common functions in the eye development. Nam and his team found that the Spastin gene is one of the genes which affect the Crumbs location in the eye. The grant will fund a study that will allow Nam to examine the role of the spastin gene for the Crumbs localization and photoreceptor morphogenesis.

Media contact: Frank Raczkiewicz, Assistant Vice President of Media Communications, 254-710-1964.

About the Knights Templar

The Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc., a 501 (c3) charity, sponsored by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America, was founded in 1956 for the purpose of providing service for the prevention of blindness.

The Foundation is funded by donations from the members known as Knights Templar, a part of the York Rite of Freemasonry. Members and non-member friends make tax-deductible donations to either general or endowment funds. Many members, as well as non-members, leave bequests as part of their estates supporting the Knights Templar Eye Foundation in the preservation of sight.

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