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Miami couple donates $5 million to UF gene therapy research program

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Friday, February 24, 2012

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A Miami couple donated $5 million to a UF gene therapy program.

Earl and Christy Powell’s donation will create the Earl and Christy Powell University Chair in Gene Therapy and Genetics Research at the UF Health Science Center, UF announced Tuesday.

The center was named for them in 2000 after they donated $2 million.

The therapy center helps patients of genetic disorders by developing newer and safer ways to fight genetic diseases, according to its website.

The lead position of the center will be filled by an “internationally recognized leader in gene therapy” who will work on developing safe ways to treat patients, the release stated.

“Earl and Christy Powell’s past generosity has had a significant impact on gene therapy and its translation to patient care,” UF President Bernie Machen said in a release. “Through strong endowments, such as those created by the Powells, the university and the Health Science Center are able to recruit and retain the best minds in medicine — scientists and physicians who shape the future of health care.”

One of its newest programs is using a harmless virus, known as adeno-associated virus, which will help scientists study genetic diseases such as Leber’s Congential Amaurosis, a rare inherited eye disease.

Earl Powell is a co-founder and partner in Trivest Partners, an equity firm in Miami. According to a secretary at the firm, Powell attended UF and graduated from the University of Miami.

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Source: The inepeent Florida
2.1 from 10 votes
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