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Case Western Reserve awarded nearly $1 million from Research to Prevent Blindness Foundation
Date:3/9/2009

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences has been awarded an unrestricted grant along with three individual awards that could total up to $1 million by the Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) Foundation. These are the most grants awarded in a single year to the Case Western Reserve visual sciences program since 1997. In that time, the program received $2,712,500 from RPB, one of the world's leading voluntary organizations supporting eye research.

One highlight is the awarding of the $650,000 Jules & Doris Stein RPB Professorship to Irina A. Pikuleva, Ph.D., who was the only RPB Stein awardee in the United States this year. A nominee for a Jules & Doris Stein RPB Professorship RPB's premier award must be recruited into a primary appointment in an ophthalmology department, with a secondary appointment in the basic sciences. To date, the program has helped to attract 44 exceptionally talented basic scientists to devote their careers to eye research.

Irina A. Pikuleva, Ph.D.

Dr. Pikuleva, a national leader in studies of cytochromes P450, the key enzymes involved in cholesterol elimination, was recruited to Case Western Reserve to apply her expertise along with the newly-funded National Eye Institute and other National Institutes of Health-related grants to examine whether there are similar mechanisms in the development of atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

As the RPB Stein chair, Dr. Pikuleva is eligible to apply for an RPB matching grant to purchase additional lab equipment. Funding she receives from RPB would be matched by the School of Medicine, potentially bringing total allocation to the department to approximately $1 million.

"We are proud of Dr. Pikuleva's award and fortunate to have such a leader in her field to potentially provide new insights into the pathogenesis of AMD that may lead to new approaches in treatmen
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Contact: Jessica Studeny
jessica.studeny@case.edu
216-368-4692
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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