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Ann Arbor, MI—The University of Michigan Health System is planning a $120 million expansion of its U-M W.K. Kellogg Eye Center to devote more space to vision research, education, and patient care.
Ann Arbor, MI-The University of Michigan Health System is planning a $120 million expansion of its U-M W.K. Kellogg Eye Center to devote more space to vision research, education, and patient care.
A key component of the project will be the new Delores S. and William K. Brehm Center for Type 1 Diabetes Research and Analysis, which will occupy two upper floors in the 215,000-square-foot building.
Researchers hope the convergence of eye and diabetes research will help in finding a treatment for diabetes-induced blindness. The space will also house further research devoted to finding genetic links to-and treatments for-such diseases as age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and glaucoma.
The new building will be immediately northwest of the Kellogg research tower and will replace operating rooms and eyecare clinics now located in two buildings adjoining the tower. The new and old ophthalmology space will total 300,000 square feet.
The university plans to include "cutting-edge" clinical space and technology, a patient information center, expanded services for genetic testing and genetic counseling, and more opportunities to participate in clinical trials.
"While our research spans the spectrum of ophthalmic and visual system diseases, a major focus is on degenerative diseases of the retina, such as macular degeneration," said Paul R. Lichter, MD, professor and chairman, department of ophthalmology and visual sciences and director of the Kellogg Eye Center. "We've made great strides in understanding this disease and are poised to achieve breakthroughs in the coming decade."
The university plans to add up to nine additional scientists to work toward a cure for macular degeneration, he said.
The Kellogg Eye Center treated 127,189 patients in 2005, up from 36,852 patients in 1985. More than 5,800 eye surgeries were performed in 2005. The university's ophthalmology department was ranked sixth best overall by Ophthalmology Times in 2004 and ranks sixth in the nation in the amount of funding of ophthalmology departments by the National Eye Institute.