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SUNY receives $4.3 million for research in neuroscience, pediatric pharmacology and vision
Date:10/14/2011

The State University of New York has received two grants totaling more than $4.3 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support neuroscience and pediatric pharmacology and vision research as part of SUNY REACH, a collaborative research network of SUNY's four academic health centers and the College of Optometry. The lead researchers on both grants will be headquartered at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.

SUNY REACH (Research Excellence in Academic Health) is comprised of SUNY Downstate, University at Buffalo, College of Optometry, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and Upstate Medical University.

The first grant, $3.7 million from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development will support research into Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), a condition that contributes to vision loss (and in the most serious cases, blindness) in premature infants. Jacob V. Aranda, MD, PhD, professor or pediatrics and director of neonatalogy at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, and principal investigator on the grant, notes that the condition affects 50 to 80 percent of preterm babies born weighing less than 1250 grams.

Dr. Aranda's research will help define the molecular events that lead to ROP and develop drug strategies to prevent it. Dr. Aranda and Kay Beharry, director of the Perinatal-Neonatal Pharmacology Translational Lab at SUNY Downstate, along with Dr. William Jusko at Buffalo, will provide overall administration of the complex project, with two pre-clinical science protocols and one clinical protocol. These two protocols will focus on the hypothesis that caffeine and ibuprofen, used together, can be used to regulate the overgrowth of vessels that lead to ROP in animal models.

Once studies on the safety, efficacy, and timing of intervention are completed, randomized clinical testing will begin at multiple clinical sites. In addition to Downstate, these wil
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Contact: Ron Najman
ron.najman@downstate.edu
718-270-2696
SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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