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VEI receives grant from Research to Prevent Blindness for research and education

Jun. 25, 2015, 9:14 AM

Since 2008 Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) has awarded the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Vanderbilt funds to continue its research into the causes, treatment and prevention of blinding eye diseases.

The Vanderbilt Eye Institute (VEI) recently received a grant for $115,000, which places the total award amount for unrestricted grants from the RPB at $860,000.

The research will be directed by Paul Sternberg Jr., M.D., George W. Hale Professor and chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

“Our long-standing relationship with RPB has been integral in our research endeavors as well as the growth of our research program,” said Sternberg.

The funding will support a mixture of research and educational activities at VEI and further future discoveries in the field of ophthalmic research.

“Specifically, the money supports our academic seminar series that we host six to eight times a year,” said David Calkins, Ph.D., Denis M. O’Day Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and vice chair and director for Research at VEI. “It also assists with the support of non-invasive imaging technologies to promote new research into early diagnostic testing and experimental therapies.

“In particular, the grant has helped us develop nano technology for marking specific tissue compromised in early stages of macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy in experimental models,” said Calkins, also director of the Vanderbilt Vision Research Center.

RPB has awarded nearly $3M in grants to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and is the world’s leading voluntary organization supporting eye research. 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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