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Two receive Research to Prevent Blindness grants

Jul. 21, 2016, 10:12 AM

Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) has awarded two grants to faculty in the Department of Ophthalmology.

Paul Sternberg Jr., M.D., George W. Hale Professor and chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, received $115,000 to support research into the causes, treatment and prevention of blinding diseases.

“Our long-standing relationship with RPB has been integral in our research endeavors as well as the growth of our research program,” Sternberg said. “This funding will prove to be a key component in our future discoveries in the field of ophthalmic research.”

The grant will continue to fund translational research on the top eye diseases that cause irreversible blindness, such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.
The award will also support the program’s efforts to bring visiting professors from around the country to Vanderbilt.

RPB also granted a $300,000 Career Development Award to support research conducted by Anthony Daniels, M.D., assistant professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Cancer Biology and Radiation Oncology.

The four-year grant will help Daniels develop new lines of investigation on how tumor cells in the eye spread to other parts of the body. This information is vital for designing new therapies to prevent not only loss of vision, but also tumor metastasis in other tissues.

“RPB grants like these are critical to allowing our scientists and clinician-scientists to act quickly on exciting ideas in ophthalmology and vision science,” said David Calkins, Ph.D., Denis M. O’Day Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, vice chair and director of Research at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute.

“Past RPB funding has proven invaluable in helping VEI maintain a regional and national edge in vision research and patient care,” Calkins said.

RPB has awarded more than $3 million 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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