The University of Tübingen is to receive an endowed chair for the molecular biology of degenerative retinal diseases – a decision taken on the 29th April 2008 by the Baden-Württemberg Cabinet. The chair is founded by the “Tistou und Charlotte Kerstan Stiftung VISION 2000 SEHEN - KUNST – SINNESFUNKTIONEN” which funds the chair with a total of approximately 3.85 million euros.
“The endowed chair will further expand the top position of Tübingen’s Medical Faculty in the field of ophthalmology. This endowed chair is an important step on the way to becoming an Ophthalmology Excellence Centre, the establishment of which was recommended by the Medizinstrukturkommission (medical structure commission),” said Science Minister Frankenberg on 30th April in Stuttgart. The endowed chair will be part of Tübingen’s Medical Faculty and investigate the molecular and cellular causes of degenerative retinal diseases as well as develop new therapeutic approaches. Particular focus will be put on inherited retinal diseases. The endowed chair will be funded for 11 years; after funding comes to an end, the Medical Faculty will withdraw the chair, or continue using its own resources.Endowed chairs are not financed through the state but through private donations. The donor determines the discipline and generally finances the research and personnel costs of the first five to ten years. At present, Baden-Württemberg has more than 90 endowed chairs.