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Calkins lands award from Research to Prevent Blindness

Jan. 24, 2013, 10:13 AM

David Calkins, Ph.D., was recently awarded a Research to Prevent Blindness Senior Scientific Investigator Award. (photo by Joe Howell)

David Calkins, Ph.D., vice chair and director of Research for the Vanderbilt Eye Institute, was recently awarded a Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) Senior Scientific Investigator Award.

The $150,000 award will assist Calkins in his efforts to develop new studies of self-repair mechanisms in diseases that impact the central nervous system.

“This award was given to help me develop a new line of investigation that focuses on how neural pathways fight back against central nervous system diseases like Alzheimer’s and glaucoma,” said Calkins, the Denis M. O’Day Professor of Ophthalmology of Visual Sciences.

“We have discovered a certain level of plasticity that occurs in the adult nervous system during disease progression to conserve signaling as long as possible.”

Glaucoma is the most common blinding eye disease in the world. By 2020, the National Eye Institute projects that about 80 million people will be diagnosed with glaucoma.

RPB is the world’s leading voluntary organization supporting eye research. Calkins is one of 184 scientists to receive the research award since it was first awarded in 1987. Founded in 1960, RPB has channeled hundreds of millions of dollars to medical institutions for research into the causes, treatment and prevention of blinding eye diseases.

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