Pittler receives R01 grant to study blinding disorder

An optometrist receives a grant to study a disorder that causes blinding and currently has no treatment or preventive measures.

steven pittler 2018Steven Pittler, Ph.D., FAAO, FARVO, director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry Vision Science Research Center, has been awarded an R01 grant to develop mouse model studies of autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (arRP), a prevalent and progressive blinding disorder that currently has no treatment or preventive means.

The four-year, $2.2 million grant is funded by the National Eye Institute, a center of the National Institutes of Health.

“We know that defects in the DHDDS gene have been implicated in arRP; however, little is known about DHDDS in the retina,” Pittler said. “The proposed studies will provide essential new information on the function of DHDDS in the retina, as a prelude to developing gene therapies for arRP, with the hope of identifying established treatments and prevention in the future for those who suffer from arRP.”