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Wednesday, October 20, 2004
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AMVETS gift funds diabetes research at Ohio University

ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 21, 2004) -- The American Veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam (AMVETS) presented a $15,000 check to Ohio University researcher and Goll-Ohio Eminent Scholar John Kopchick on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at the Konneker Research Laboratory.

Kopchick, undergraduate student researchers and AMVETS representatives at the Konneker Research Center. Photo by Rick Fatica.The second annual gift from the AMVETS, it will continue to support diabetes research by making funds available for the salaries of student research assistants whose direct relatives are veterans. The AMVETS gift not only will provide students with a valuable source of income and experience, it also will allow them to be a part of important research efforts.

According to Kopchick, 17 million Americans currently are diagnosed with diabetes, with an additional 20 million undiagnosed. Eleven percent of American citizens aged 65-74 are diagnosed with diabetes. There has been speculation that Type II diabetes is service-connected, making its research a priority for veterans.

National AMVETS Commander William A. Boettcher, along with several other state and local AMVETS executives, attended the presentation.

"As most AMVETS, we want to rally behind our families and communities," Boettcher said. "I do not know a family that has not been touched by this disease, and we want to help its research continue. I'm hoping to draw attention to this disease and its research on a national level, uniting our veterans toward a common goal."

This year, Boettcher's wish for additional gifts to support diabetes research from AMVETS was driven home. The Ohio AMVETS 21st District committed more than $1,400 to Dr. Kopchick's research at Ohio University.

"These generous gifts from the AMVETS will help Dr. Kopchick and his colleagues make new discoveries in the laboratory that have the potential to change people's lives," says Vice President of The Ohio University Foundation Leonard Raley. "I'm deeply appreciative of the consistent and thoughtful generosity of these veterans."

Photo by Rick FaticaOhio University has targeted diabetes research for more than 10 years. Researchers at the Edison Biotechnology Institute study obesity and diabetes while Kopchick and his group study the molecular and cellular events involved in growth, obesity and diabetes. This research has produced 23 patents with an additional 23 pending.

A leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America's Armed Forces, AMVETS provides, not only support for veterans and the active military in procuring their earned entitlements, but also community services that enhance the quality of life for this nation's citizens.

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Media Contact: Director of Development Communication Jennifer Bowie, (740) 597-2987

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