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February 7, 2012
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Upstate wins $100,000 grant for vision research

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— The Ophthalmology Department at Upstate Medical University has received a $100,000 grant from Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB), a leading voluntary health organization supporting eye research. The grant will be directed by John A. Hoepner, MD, to support research conducted at the department’s Center for Vision Research (CVR).

“The support of Research to Prevent Blindness has allowed us to build a world-class research group dedicated to preserving and restoring sight,” said Hoepner, professor and chair of Upstate’s Department of Ophthalmology and administrative director of the Center for Vision Research.

Since 1998, the department has received more than $2.4 million from the RPB. Included among RPB-funded studies is one that involves an innovative use of technology that shows promise in better understanding the causes of congenital degenerative diseases of the eye, such as retinitis pigmentosa.

Findings from another RPB-supported study could offer new possibilities for preventing or reversing the disabling vision loss caused by age-related macular degeneration, diabetes retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, and other diseases that damage the retina.

Upstate’s Ophthalmology Department has attracted $19 million in peer-reviewed funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and other agencies and lists among its funding sources $1.2 million from the Grateful Patient campaign of the Upstate Medical University Foundation and $250,000 from the Lions Clubs of District 20-Y1

CVR scientists collaborate with each other and with colleagues around the world as they work at the molecular, cellular, systems and perceptual levels to understand the origin of diseases that lead to severe vision loss and blindness. CVR’s distinguished scientists have made important discoveries on the possible causes of retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration.

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