Research Laboratory

 

Research

  • Senior researcher sought for Research Director in Ophthalmology


    The Department of Ophthalmology is also accepting applications for junior research faculty


    Research Director

    The Emory School of Medicine is actively recruiting well-qualified external candidates for a Director of Research faculty position in the Department of Ophthalmology and the Emory Eye Center (EEC). The position offers a unique opportunity to lead a dynamic research program while also performing creative, high-impact studies supported by extramural funding.

    Candidates must have an internationally recognized track record of discovery and research development, with a vibrant and currently funded NIH research program, and be eligible for appointment as a full professor with tenure in the Emory Department of Ophthalmology.

    The EEC Research Director will join a highly respected team of 60+ ophthalmic research and clinical faculty as the Lilla Walthour and Lena Stanton de la Perriere Chair of Ophthalmology. Research at EEC has been continuously supported by a NIH P30 Core Grant since 1981 and a T32 Training Grant since 1984.

    The EEC Research Director will oversee a research program that serves as a bridge to interdisciplinary research and clinical initiatives at Emory. The successful candidate will be well-situated to conduct meaningful collaborations with other academic programs, all with the goal of promoting translational ophthalmic research.

    The Research Director will continually review and improve the impact of Department's research agenda while also identifying and mentoring future leaders. As an academic researcher, the Director will define and pursue their own professional development objectives.

    Minimally, this will include fundamental questions pertinent to ophthalmic diseases, including (but is not limited to): optic nerve diseases, age-related macular degeneration, inherited conditions with ocular manifestations, and ocular neoplasia. As a member of the faculty, the Research Director will actively participate in School of Medicine and Emory University teaching and service activities.

    Junior Research Faculty

    The Department of Ophthalmology is also inviting applications for junior research faculty. The successful candidate will develop an independent research program and secure extramural funding. Expectations include providing leadership and training to postdoctoral fellows, research associates, and graduate students. This faculty will also participate in both Department and University service activities and pursue professional development programs. It is expected that the new faculty will complement existing strengths in our research program, which includes: glaucoma, AMD, retina, and ocular cancer. Funding from the National Eye Institute is desirable.

    Minimum qualifications for Junior Faculty:The successful candidate will have earned a MD, a PhD, and/or an MD, PhD (or equivalent) degree with significant research training in an appropriate field; postdoctoral experience; and an outstanding record of research accomplishments, as demonstrated by completed research and publications. The position requires three or more years full-time experience at the level of post-doctoral fellow or instructor in an appropriate higher educational settings or its equivalent. The position also requires education beyond the terminal degree.

    Required Tasks

    • Presents results and prepares publications; contributes to refereed publications beyond dissertation papers.

    • Oversees laboratory operations at the Emory Eye Center as applicable.

    • Supervise laboratory personnel and research staff.

    • May collaborate with external researchers.

    • Performs other related duties as required.


    Application Process

    For full consideration in either appointment, interested individuals should electronically submit an application package specifying the position title and containing the following items to Laura Brewer (laura.brewer@emory.edu) by June 1, 2022:


    • A letter of application • Curriculum vitae • Statement of research interests • One-page statement describing their understanding of, prior engagement in, and vision for, creating inclusive environments in the laboratory, classroom, and community to support DEI.


    Equal Opportunity Employment at Emory

    Emory University provides equal opportunity to all faculty, staff, students, and other members of University community, including applicants for admission and/or employment, contractors, volunteers, and participants in institutional programs, activities, or services and complies with all applicable laws and regulations governing equal opportunity in the workplace and in educational activities. Emory prohibits discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, on the basis of race, ethnicity, ancestry, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetics, or veteran status in its programs, activities, employment, and admissions.


    Focus on Glaucoma Research:
    Andrew J. Feola, Ph.D.


    A team of researchers headed up by Emory Eye Center researcher, Andrew Feola Ph.D., is investigating a hormonal link to glaucoma that could open doors to more effective treatment and prevention options. Under the auspices of a 5-year, $1.25 million National Institutes of Health grant and a 5-year, $800,000 Veterans Administration grant, Feola, an assistant professor in the Emory Medical School, is probing the connection between estrogen deficiencies and glaucoma - the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world.

    "A majority of glaucoma patients are female, so this is very much a womens health issue,“ said Feola, whose research combines training in hormones, biomechanics, and computational modeling with visual function and optic nerve head imaging.

    "But its found that the risk of developing glaucoma in both men and women may be linked to mutations in estrogen receptors and polymorphisms in the estrogen metabolic pathway. This research could widen our understanding of that link, which will benefit both genders."

    The NIH grant supports Feolas investigation of how intraocular pressure (IOP) - a known risk factor for glaucoma - is affected by menopause relative to natural aging. Modest elevations in IOP are linked to the onset of menopause, when estrogen levels begin to decrease. And estrogen-based hormone therapy has been shown to reduce IOP.

    "There is a lot of data suggesting that the age of menopause, menopause itself, and a persons estrogen levels influence glaucoma risk by increasing or decreasing the IOP, but the mechanisms are still unknown," explains Feola.

    Researchers in the NIH project will focus in on the possibility that altered estrogen levels impact aqueous outflow resistance, which correlates with IOP. They hope to understand the degree that the eye becomes more resistant to the outward flow of fluid. Researchers will also examine how the regulation of this outflow is controlled by trabecular meshwork (TM), a section of tissue located around the base of the cornea.

    "We are hypothesizing that menopause increases IOP through the stiffening of different segments of the TM," he said.

    The Veterans Administration grant will allow researchers to focus on how estrogen deficiency alters ocular biomechanical properties. Researchers will also observe a case of experimental glaucoma to see how estrogen deficiency impacts the process of vision loss, and, conversely, whether estrogen therapy is protective in both male and female rats.

    "This treatment could complement current glaucoma treatments to help slow the progression of vision loss in glaucoma," Feola explained.

    Before joining the EEC research staff in the fall of 2021, Andrew Feola worked as a research biologist at the Atlanta VA Medical Center and as a research scientist in the School of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology/Emory University. He earned his bachelors and doctoral degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, where his graduate research focused on the biomechanical properties of pelvic tissues at different points in pregnancy, postpartum and hormonal status.

  • About EEC Research

    Groundbreaking, multidisciplinary basic science and clinical research at Emory Eye Center focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases. Our research program is highly respected; our researchers are pioneers in new developments in vision care.

    The Eye Center established the Laboratory for Eye Research, the first of its kind in the Southeast in 1964. The early laboratory housed leading scientists who conducted research on the causes and treatment of glaucoma and cataracts.

    A number of “firsts” have occurred at the Eye Center, many during the past 20 years: pivotal clinical trials, innovative treatments and procedures for numerous vision disorders.

    Todays research goal is the translation of laboratory findings into treatments for eye diseases and for the prevention of blindness. Our researchers have a profound commitment to studying age-related macular degeneration. Laboratory and clinical research includes antioxidants, new drug delivery systems, retinal cell transplantation, gene therapy, and retinal translocation surgery.

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