Optometry professors receive VSRC pilot grant support

Optometry professors have received grants to continue eye care research.

Optometry grantsFaculty members from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry have received Pilot Award Grants from the Vision Science Research Center (VSRC), to support new project ideas that could have great potential to advance understanding of ocular disease.

Vision research at UAB is focused on dry eye disease, hereditary retinal degeneration, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, myopia, brain visual pathways, traumatic brain injury and ocular imaging.

Marina Gorbatyuk, Ph.D., proposed to develop and validate a tree shrew model of diabetic retinopathy, while Om Srivastava, Ph.D., and Roy Joseph, Ph.D., will be investigating the role of fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 in apoptosis of corneal stromal keratocytes in keratoconus, the leading cause of corneal transplants in the United States. Each award recipient is granted $40,000 for a one-year period, which is seed money to produce preliminary data to submit requests for federal funding.

The UAB VSRC houses five research support cores providing equipment and expertise in molecular and cellular analysis, machine shop and electronics, image analysis and research programming, biostatistical analysis and ocular phenotyping. These cores are supported by an NIH P30 grant.

For more information, visit www.uab.edu/vsrc.