Five-year NIH grant to aid AMD research

October 23, 2006

The National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health has awarded a 5-year, $14.6 million grant to fund a study of age-related macular degeneration.

The National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a 5-year, $14.6 million grant to fund a study of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The grant will finance an international, interdisciplinary effort led by the University of Iowa to leverage two recent genetic discoveries into possible treatments for AMD.

Gregory Hageman, PhD, professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, will lead the multi-institutional effort.In the past year, the University of Iowa, Columbia University Medical Center, and the National Cancer Institute, along with others, determined that two genes -- those for complement factor H and factor B -- account for nearly three out of four cases of AMD.

The scientists will investigate the genes' role in the immune system, with the goal of developing diagnostic tools and treatment.