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New vision research chair at Toronto hospital receives $2M funding


Toronto, ON September 9, 2003 The Hospital for Sick Children announced today a C$2-million gift from Mira Godard, establishing in perpetuity, the Mira Godard Chair in Vision Research. It says this is the first private donation to a vision research chair in Canada.

The chair, held jointly with the University of Toronto, will provide resources to ensure that advances continue to be made in the research and treatment of eye disorders leading to blindness.

“Seeing is my business, because art is all about seeing,” says Mira Godard. “Scientific research is also about seeing, about making connections and revealing what is hidden.”

Mira Godard is an internationally renowned Canadian art dealer. Owner of the Mira Godard Gallery and founding president of the Professional Art Dealers Association of Canada, she was appointed Member of the Order of Canada in 1988.

Dr Elise Hon is announced as the inaugural holder of the Mira Godard Chair in Vision Research at The Hospital for Sick Children. Dr Hon, the first female head of a surgical unit at the University of Toronto, is ophthalmologist-in-chief at the Hospital for Sick Children, associate scientist, genetics and genomic biology at the HSC Research Institute, and associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Toronto.

Dr Hon is internationally recognized for her clinical research on the genetics involved in inherited eye disorders, most specifically in glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal dystrophies.

“I am honoured to be named the first holder of the Mira Godard Chair in Vision Research,” says Dr Hon. “The development of new sight-preserving therapies relies on the understanding of genetic defects and it would be impossible for our research to move ahead without such a generous gift.”