September STEM Café explores blindness

Image of an eyeball with blue irisMacular degeneration, a common eye disease that affects the retina, is the leading cause of blindness in Americans older than 50.

Scientists at NIU are at the forefront of research on the human retina and are seeking new treatment to protect and preserve vision.

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, NIU STEM Outreach invites community members to meet one of these scientists and learn more about eye health at STEM Café’s latest event, “For Your Eyes Only: Part 2 – The Retina.”

This free event will take place at Eduardo’s Restaurant, 214 E. Lincoln Hwy. in DeKalb. Food and drinks are available for purchase from Eduardo’s.

Elizabeth Gaillard

Elizabeth Gaillard

Elizabeth Gaillard, professor in the NIU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Biological Sciences, will discuss the latest scientific perspectives on macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. She also will explain some of the newest developments in vision restoration like retinal implants and stem cell technology.

This event is one of NIU’s monthly STEM Cafés where community members can hear a brief, informal talk on cutting-edge research in science, technology, engineering and math, and then get their questions answered by STEM experts.

STEM Cafés are just one of the many ways people can rub elbows with scientists this fall.

STEM Outreach is also making plans for their annual celebration of science, technology, engineering and math, STEMfest. STEMfest 2013 takes place from 10 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at the NIU Convocation Center. More than 50 NIU departments and more than 400 students will join regional corporations, museums, educators and national labs to present hundreds of fun, hands-on activities and competitions to interest learners of all ages.

For more information on upcoming STEM Cafés and other events from NIU STEM Outreach, visit www.niu.edu/stem or contact Judith Dymond at (815) 753-4751 or jdymond@niu.edu.

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