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Upstate awarded unrestricted $110,000 grant from Research to Prevent Blindness

The Department of Ophthalmology at Upstate Medical University has received an unrestricted grant of $110,000 from Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) to support eye research conducted at the Department’s Center for Vision Research. Founded in 1960, RPB is the world’s leading voluntary organization supporting eye research.

The research will be directed by John A. Hoepner, MD, professor and chair of Ophthalmology and administrative director of the Center for Vision Research. This is the 12th consecutive year that Ophthalmology has received the award.

“Research to Prevent Blindness is the largest supporter of vision research outside of the federal government and is dedicated to supporting vision research at all levels,” said Hoepner. “The unrestricted departmental funds can act as seed money to support novel ideas that haven’t been funded through other sources yet, to help researchers who need additional support, and to help veteran researchers continue their investigations when they are between funding. All of us at the Center for Vision Research appreciate RPB’s continued support of our research team and the work we are doing.”

RPB has channeled hundreds of millions of dollars  into the causes, treatment and prevention of blinding eye diseases. It provides funding to only 50 Departments of Ophthalmology nationwide. In 1998, Upstate became part of the recognized few to receive funding from RPB, and since that time, the department has received from RPB more than $2.5 million.

Upstate’s Department of Ophthalmology has attracted $22 million in peer-reviewed funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and other agencies and lists among its funding sources $1.2 million from the Grateful Patient campaign of the Upstate Medical University Foundation and $250,000 from the Lions Clubs of District 20-Y1.

Caption: The Center for Vision Research celebrated its 15th anniversary last year, growing from a three-person enterprise to one that has attracted world-class researchers. Pictured is Andrea S. Viczian, PhD, who is conducting an investigation into creating new pathways for the discovery of improved therapies to treat age-related macular degeneration.

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