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Case Western Reserve receives $10M to study retinal disease, develop new treatments
Date:12/28/2010

The Departments of Pharmacology and Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have been awarded a $10.1 million grant from the National Eye Institute (NEI) to research and develop new treatments for diseases of the retina, a leading cause of blindness.

"The grant strongly positions the School of Medicine and collaborating organizations to play a significant role in advancing the treatment of retinal diseases in order to restore quality of life to countless patients," said Jonathan H. Lass, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and director of the University Hospitals Eye Institute. "It is the largest grant of its kind ever awarded to the university by the National Eye Institute, a tremendous achievement."

The NEI, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will award the grant over five years, funding the work of researchers in the Departments of Pharmacology, Ophthalmology, and Biomedical Engineering at the School of Medicine who are working in collaboration with the Retinal Therapeutics Study Group. This interdisciplinary consortium of investigators is screening FDA-approved drugs for their potential application to the treatment of eye diseases affecting the retina.

The combined group, which also includes researchers from the Cincinnati Drug Discovery Center, the University of Pennsylvania and Washington University, aims to accelerate the rate at which basic science discoveries are used to develop new therapies for complex retinal disorders and diseases.

Conditions affecting the retina, the tissue in back of the eye responsible for vision, are a primary cause of blindness in adults in the United States. Such diseases include age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the main cause of blindness in adults over the age of 55. More than 1.3 million people in the U.S. are legally blind and 8 to 10 millio
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Contact: Jessica Studeny
jessica.studeny@case.edu
216-368-4692
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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