Awards and Recognition

Andrew Goldstein, won the Best Paper of Session Award during the 2017 Cornea and Eye Banking Forum earlier this month in New Orleans, for his presentation: “Assessing the Effects of Ripasudil, a Novel Rho Kinase Inhibitor, on Human Corneal Endothelial Cell Health.” The award is given to a medical student, resident, or corneal fellow.

The goal of Goldstein’s project was to examine the safety and efficacy of topical rho-kinase inhibitors, which are potential non-surgical therapies for corneal endothelial disease, a major indication for corneal transplant. He used specialized metabolic assays on donor corneas to identify potential drug toxicity, as this treatment had yet to be investigated for safety in the U.S. The study showed that in a laboratory setting there does not appear to be any toxicity with the use of ripasudil, a rho-kinase inhibitor. This research helps to lay the groundwork for future therapies to treat corneal blindness.

Goldstein’s research mentor was Mark Greiner, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, and the research was performed at the Iowa Lions Eye Bank.

Kris Halter, Director of Compliance and Quality Systems for Iowa Lions Eye Bank, was recently awarded an Improving Our Workplace Award (IOWA) for work in his role prior to joining ILEB. Kris had served as a Senior Project Manager for University of Iowa ITS Enterprise Services, and was nominated for his work with the OneIT Data Centers and Servers Consolidation Project.

The OneIT Data Centers and Servers Consolidation Project was directed by the Board of Regents as part of its Transparent, Inclusive Efficiency Review (TIER) Initiative. The project objective was to consolidate server resources on campus, manage them more efficiently, and eliminate distributed rooms housing computing equipment across campus, reducing utility costs and returning space to be used for other high value purposes.

The work of Kris and his team resulted in a one-time $1.3 million savings as well as over $850,000 in ongoing savings for the University of Iowa. This project was also one of three that UI showcased to the Iowa Lean Consortium which resulted in the University of Iowa winning the Iowa Partners in Efficiency Award.

Kris and his team will be acknowledged for this huge accomplishment and award at a reception in the spring. Congratulations, Kris!