CWRU receives $1 million grant for eye disease research

March 10, 2009

Four researchers from Case Western Reserve University Medical School, Cleveland, OH, received a $1.04 million grant to continue their research into diseases including age-related macular degeneration.

Cleveland, OH-Four researchers from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Medical School, Cleveland, OH, received a $1.04 million grant to continue their research into diseases including age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The funds will come from the Research to Prevent Blindness Foundation, which donated more than $10 million in research grants in 2008 and supports vision research throughout the United States. The organization has given more than 2.7 million to CWRU since 1997.

Irina A. Pikuleva, PhD, an ophthalmology and pharmacology professor, studies cytochromes P450, a critical enzyme that helps eliminate cholesterol, received the majority of the latest funding. Dr. Pikuleva will use $650,000 from the foundation plus additional funding to determine whether there are mechanisms similar to cytochromes P450 involved in atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and AMD.

Paul Shin-Hyun Park, PhD, an assistant professor in ophthalmology and visual sciences, will use a 4-year, $200,000 grant to help study retina pigments that could have an impact on diseases including AMD.

Ram Nagaraj, PhD, will use a $75,000 grant to continue work researching cataracts and diabetic retinopathy.

A $115,000 unrestricted grant also has been renewed by the foundation for Jonathan Lass, MD, chairman of the Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Department and director of the University Hospitals Case Medical Center Eye Institute. Dr. Lass will use the money to invest in new research programs and advance the research mission of the department.

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