News Releases

May 30, 1996

Emory Eye Center receives $1.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health

Atlanta — The Emory Eye Center recently received a five-year core grant totaling more than $1.1 million from the National Eye Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. The Emory Eye Center has been a core grant center, considered a gold standard among ophthalmic institutions, for 10 years. This new award extends the designation for another five-year term.

“The grant is critical to our scientific research,” said Henry Edelhauser, Ph.D., director of ophthalmic research at the Eye Center, who was instrumental in obtaining the grant and who will serve as its administrator. Emory has the only NEI core grant in Georgia.

The grant enables the Eye Center to conduct important research into the prevention, detection and treatment of eye diseases, including retinal, corneal and children’s eye diseases. The Eye Center has more than 20 principal investigators conducting more than 50 research projects. Many of these researchers have individual grants, but these grants often do not cover the costs of purchasing essential technology and salarying staff. “The core grant is the mortar that holds together all of the research we are doing,” said Thomas Aaberg, M.D., director of the Emory Eye Center. “It helps us fund the technology and the biostaticians, epidemiologists, research fellows and other scientists and assistants who help coordinate our research.”

The NEI grant includes three components: structural biology, analytical biochemistry and molecular biology, and epidemiology and biostatistics. The structural biology section provides resources for investigators to evaluate the effects of disease and drugs on eye cells and tissue. The analytical biochemistry and molecular biology component includes resources for research to measure the benefits of drug therapy and to analyze the roles of genes and proteins in eye disease. The third component, epidemiology and biostatistics, provides funding for epidemiologists and biostaticians to analyze data collected from clinical trials.

In its most recent national ranking, Emory Eye Center was third in the country for the number of ophthalmology clinical trials and was one of the top 10 institutions in the nation for the number of research grants. The Eye Center recently unveiled 7,000 square feet of new research space with one of the most advanced molecular biology and molecular genetics laboratories in the country. Among some of the more important work being conducted at Emory are genetic research studies on children’s inherited eye diseases, cataracts and various kinds of retinal diseases.

Media Contact: Joy H. Bell

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