February 27, 2009

Glaucoma research lands award

Featured Image

Rachel Kuchtey, M.D., Ph.D., is studying glaucoma’s causes. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Glaucoma research lands award

Rachel Wang Kuchtey, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Ophthalmology at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute, has received a Career Development Award from Research to Prevent Blindness.

The $200,000 award, granted for a four-year period, will support Kuchtey's glaucoma research.

“This support will allow me the ability to pursue my scientific interests in glaucoma research,” said Kuchtey, who came to Vanderbilt in 2005. “I am a clinical scientist and my end goal is translation. I want to know what causes glaucoma.”

Kuchtey said the RPB award will allow her to further her efforts in developing treatments for glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness in the nation that develops with more than 50 percent of those affected by the disease unaware they have it. Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve. Although there are treatments, there is no cure.

“We are hoping to come up with early diagnostic testing and develop therapeutic agents to treat glaucoma in the early stages,” she said.

Research to Prevent Blindness, founded in 1960, is the world's leading voluntary organization supporting eye research.