UAB’s Gamlin wins prestigious Disney award for “lazy eye” research

Amblyopia, commonly referred to as “lazy eye,” is the major cause of monocular blindness in America, affecting up to 3 percent of young children.
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Paul D. Gamlin, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been awarded the Walt and Lilly Disney Award for Amblyopia Research by Research to Prevent Blindness.

Amblyopia, commonly referred to as “lazy eye,” is the major cause of monocular blindness in America, affecting up to 3 percent of young children. Gamlin will use the $100,000 award to investigate the role of the brain’s cerebellum in maintaining eye alignment.

“This generous award will allow me to investigate how eyes align and focus,” said Gamlin. “These investigations should provide important insights into how these mechanisms malfunction in amblyopia, which will allow us to suggest new treatments for this common disease.”

Diane Disney Miller, daughter of Walt Disney, created the RPB Walt and Lilly Disney Award for Amblyopia Research in 2002. The award provides funds to respected ophthalmic scientists for research into improved detection, treatment or cures for amblyopia.

Gamlin’s research focuses on the visual system and eye movements in health and disease. His particular expertise is in the neural control of vergence eye movements — those eye movements that are required for near and far viewing — and ocular accommodation, which ensures that the eyes are focused at the correct viewing distance.

Gamlin has written or co-written more than 140 journal articles, abstracts and book chapters. He serves as a referee for both neuroscience- and vision-related journals, and as a grant reviewer for numerous national organizations. His active research program has been funded continuously since 1989.

RPB is the world's leading voluntary organization supporting eye research. Since it was founded in 1960, RPB has channeled hundreds of millions of dollars to medical institutions for research into the causes, treatment and prevention of all blinding eye diseases. For more information on RPB, RPB-funded research, eye disorders and the RPB Grants Program, visit www.rpbusa.org.

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