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$100,000 Grant from Bankers Life and Casualty Company Funds Alzheimer's Research at University of Chicago

Chicago, Ill., May 3, 2004 -- Bankers Life and Casualty Company has made a two-year grant worth $100,000 to the University of Chicago to fund research into the causes of Alzheimer's disease.

Seong-Hun Kim, M.D., Ph.D., a research associate and assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Physiology at the University's medical school, has applied the grant to his research into certain proteins and how they interact to cause the early onset form of Alzheimer's disease.

Kim, 35, said he became devoted to researching the disease when he watched his own family struggle with Alzheimer's. Born in South Korea and educated at Seoul National University College of Medicine, he has been presenting academic research papers on Alzheimer's since 1996. He believes the fight is hopeful.

"Almost all of what we know about the disease has come from research done in the last 15 years," he said. "We are learning so much, a future cure is not out of the question."

"But to do that, we need more research," he added. "That's why companies like Bankers' are critical partners to us in the scientific community."

Bankers provides its research grants through the Chicago-based Alzheimer's Association, the world's largest grant making institution dedicated to combating Alzheimer's and serving those who live with the disease.

The University of Chicago grant is the second made by Bankers. Last year, the company made a $100,000 two-year grant to Harvard University's Ronald Reagan Research Grant program. Since 2001, Bankers has provided $450,000 in research grant money through the Alzheimer's Association.

"Our policyholders and potential policyholders are America's seniors," said Bankers' Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Planning Dan Veto. "Our own business research tells us that fear of contracting Alzheimer's is the number one fear of aging."

"By partnering with the Alzheimer's Association, we are supporting our friends and clients," he said.

In addition to research grants, Bankers is the premier corporate sponsor of Chicago's Rita Hayworth Gala, which benefits the Alzheimer's Association, and conducts Forget Me Not Days each May, a national fundraiser that benefits the work of local chapters of the Association.

Since awarding its first grants in 1982, the Association has committed more than $150 million toward research into the causes, treatment, prevention, and cure of Alzheimer's disease. While supporting the worldwide research effort the Association also works tirelessly to enhance the quality of life for affected individuals and their families. Through its national network of chapters, it offers a broad range of programs and services for people with the disease, their families, and care partners.

The Chicago-based Alzheimer's Association is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization. All of its programs and services are made possible through contributions, large and small, from individuals, corporations, and foundations.

About Bankers Life and Casualty Company
Established in 1879 and headquartered at the historic Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago, Bankers Life and Casualty Company focuses exclusively on the financial security needs of seniors. The company offers a broad portfolio of health and life insurance and retirement savings products designed especially for seniors. These products are distributed through a national network of professionally trained company agents. Visit us online at

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