Columbias ophthalmologist is set to award a $1,420,000 grant for “unprevious” research aimed at treating ophthalmic diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and other types of eye problems, according to the university’s office of medical services.
The award is part of the universitys new “Ophthalmic Research and Development Initiative,” which aims to support new and emerging medical research projects and accelerate the development of medical products and services that can help people with certain eye diseases.
It will be the first such grant for ophthalMeds since it was established in 2009.
Columbia’s ophthalmunologist, Dr. Brian McEwan, said the grant will allow the university to provide research to “a growing number of patients who need it and to establish the basic infrastructure necessary for successful clinical trials.”
The research includes a study that McEwaens office of ophthal-macular and ophthalmetrics, or OMS, is working on with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Advanced Microscopy.
The study will test the effectiveness of using high-resolution imaging systems for the detection of diabetic retinal degeneration in patients with diabetes, and for detecting diabetic retinocholysis in diabetic patients with cataract.
The university plans to enroll about 15 people in the study.
“We have a long way to go,” McEwans office of clinical sciences and ophtems ophthalmosciences director said.
“But the foundation is solid and the research will be of great benefit to patients and to the health care system.
The University of California at Davis, which also awarded $1 million to OMS in April, is leading the initiative.
Its research program includes a research grant to create a new technology for measuring the ocular surface properties of the cornea, which can be used to help determine how well the eye’s cornea protects itself from damaging UV light.
The OMS team also will develop a wearable sensor that can be worn on the head that detects the ophthalmoprobe and track the wearer’s eye movements, and a wearable camera that captures eye movement data in real time.
McEwens said the university will use a portion of the grant to build a laboratory to conduct clinical research, a lab for research on new technologies, and to train more doctors to use ophthalmia.
The university said in a news release that it has received more than $5 million in funding since the inception of the OMS program in 2008.
The project will also be supported by the Center for Optics and Photonics, which is supported by a National Science Foundation Research Award.