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Refinement of glaucoma testing, treatment expected from US, United Kingdom study
Date:1/14/2010

An Indiana University School of Optometry researcher's ongoing work to improve testing for and treatment of one of the world's leading causes of blindness will advance with support from a $2.35 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

IU School of Optometry Professor William H. Swanson will lead a research group that will conduct patient studies at optometry clinics in Bloomington, Indianapolis and New York City. Coupled with data from the United Kingdom, Swanson's team will work to improve methods for screening and testing for the presence, progression and pattern of damage due to glaucoma, a disease the National Eye Institute says affects 70 million people worldwide.

Swanson came to IU in 2006 from State University of New York State College of Optometry, where he remains an adjunct research professor. He holds a Ph.D. in biophysics and theoretical biology from the University of Chicago.

"Dr. Swanson's recruitment was made possible by the 2003 Commitment to Excellence (CTE) award to the School of Optometry," said Sarita Soni, Interim Dean of the School of Optometry.

The goals of the CTE proposal were to strengthen patient-based disease research at the School of Optometry, the school's Borish Center for Ophthalmic Research (BCOR) and IU Bloomington, and to better position the School of Optometry and the BCOR to compete for NIH-funded, patient-based research in ocular diseases and treatments.

"Dr. Swanson is precisely the type of faculty member we had in mind when the CTE proposal was developed," Soni added. "And I am grateful that IU Bloomington saw it fit to invest in the School of Optometry."

Swanson's research has already led to reconsideration of the widely held view that peripheral vision defects do not occur until after extensive loss of the ganglion cells. Ganglion cells transmit visual information from the retina to the brain.

Corroborated both independently and collaboratively
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Contact: Steve Chaplin
stjchap@indiana.edu
812-856-1896
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

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