Parent Petroleum Company and Hope for Vision Award Research Funding to the UIC Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

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The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences today announced a multi-year financial pledge by St. Charles, Illinois-based Parent Petroleum Company, a partner with the non-profit organization, Hope for Vision. The funding will support the vision research into common blinding retinal conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.

Peter Mancini (left) president of St. Charles, Illinois-based Parent Petroleum Company awarded a multi-year financial pledge to support the vision research by Michael Grassi, MD, (right) Director of the UIC Retina Chemical Genomics Laboratory.

“We are extremely proud to support the research being conducted by Dr. Grassi and his team of scientists and investigators,” said Peter Mancini, president of Parent Petroleum Company.

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences today announced a multi-year financial pledge by St. Charles, Illinois-based Parent Petroleum Company, a partner with the non-profit organization, Hope for Vision.

The funding will support the vision research conducted by Michael Grassi, MD, Director of the UIC Retina Chemical Genomics Laboratory, which examines the molecular basis of common blinding retinal conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.

In making the announcement, Dimitri Azar, MD, Interim Dean of the UIC College of Medicine, Professor and Department Head, presented a plaque to Peter Mancini, president of Parent Petroleum, in appreciation for his role in making the research grant possible. Also on hand for the plaque presentation was Ysel Mancini, and Parent Petroleum Vice President Mark Potaczek.

In accepting the plaque, Mancini credited the fundraising success of the company’s annual golf classic that helped make the research grant possible. In 2011, the Parent Petroleum Golf Classic raised upwards of $100,000 for Hope for Vision, an organization dedicated to finding cured for blindness through scientific research.

“We are extremely proud to support the research being conducted by Dr. Grassi and his team of scientists and investigators,” said Mancini. “They are the true heroes doing the hard work. Our part is easy! Special thanks to BP for their generous support in partnering with us in this fundraising effort.”

Dr. Grassi expressed his thanks for the support of Parent Petroleum.

“On behalf of the vision research community and patients affected with retinal degenerative conditions like retinitis pigmentosa, I would like to thank the fundraising efforts of Pete Mancini and Mark Potaczek, and the entire Parent Petroleum staff,” said Grassi. “Their tireless, unwavering support over the past 15 years has helped foster discoveries that will ultimately touch the lives of millions of people. Through their generosity, critical work into the causes and potential treatment of retinitis pigmentosa is possible. Mr. Mancini and Parent Petroleum are a beacon of light providing hope for those confronted by blindness.”

Dr. Grassi's important research focuses on developing cell-based models of retinal disease. His work has significant implications for furthering the current understanding of the molecular basis of retinal disease, and for providing critical insights into its treatment. Dr. Grassi has earned several awards for his research and clinical performance, including the Heed Foundation Fellowship and the American University Professors of Ophthalmology Research Award. Dr. Grassi is also the recipient of a Visionary Award from Hope for Vision.

About Parent Petroleum
Parent Petroleum, headquartered in St. Charles, Illinois, specializes in the service and sales of petroleum products to retail, commercial and industrial customers throughout Illinois and the Tri-State area. Parent Petroleum is a partner of Hope for Vision, http://www.hopeforvision.org, a charity organization dedicated to finding a cure for retinal degenerative blinding diseases by raising funds and distributing them directly to innovative researchers at leading American medical institutions.

About UIC Dept. Of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
UIC’s Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences is housed in the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, an esteemed 150-year-old patient care and education center. The Department is recognized as one of medicine’s leaders in the research and treatment of vision loss and blindness.

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