M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Larry Bencivengo, a Mercer Island science teacher, was awarded a grant in the Partners in Science program of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust to conduct two summers of research at the University of Washington.
“As I’m getting older and developing problems with my own with vision, I can relate a lot more,” Bencivengo said.
This summer, Bencivengo began his first of two summers conducting ophthalmology research with Dr. Russell Van Gelder, professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Washington and director of the UW Medicine Eye Institute. Last April, Bencivengo was awarded a grant from the Trust to conduct the research.
Van Gelder’s lab is researching a method to restore vision to people with certain types of retinal degeneration. Van Gelder, who moved with his family to Washington in 2008, said he’s been working on the physiology of the retina since he began his lab nearly 20 years ago as a faculty member of University of Washington in St. Louis.
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