University of Utah ophthalmologist receives $100,000 from Research to Prevent Blindness

June 26, 2014

Research to Prevent Blindness, a New York-based foundation, has announced that University of Utah researcher Wolfgang Baehr, Ph.D., will receive the Nelson Trust Award for Retinitis Pigmentosa--and an accompanying $100,000 to pursue new scientific leads to understand contributors to blindness.

The award, established in 2014, is designed to stimulate, strengthen and accelerate research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of retinitis pigmentosa, a group of genetic disorders that affect the retina's ability to respond to light. The inherited disease causes a slow loss of vision that eventually results in blindness.

"This award will allow one of the top researchers in the country to continue investigating the understanding of retinal diseases that lead to blindness," said Randall J. Olson, M.D., CEO of the University of Utah's John A. Moran Eye Center. "Dr.Baehr's work has already had far-reaching impacts for bettering the visual health of people around the world and this generous grant from Research to Prevent Blindness will allow him to continue uncovering important discoveries," said Olson.

Baehr joined the Moran Eye Center in 1995 as a Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of the Foundation Fighting Blindness Center. Baehr's work has impacted the understanding of phototransduction and remained a cornerstone of photoreceptor biochemistry. He pioneered the application of molecular biology to phototransduction research by employing newly discovered technologies to sequence cDNAs encoding the proteins. He has made significant contributions to the understanding of the basic biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics of photoreceptors, as well as the molecular and genetic mechanisms of retina diseases. Since 1968, Baehr has published more than 170 manuscripts, book chapters, reviews and editorials.

He is only one of five scientists in 2014 to receive the Nelson Trust Award for Retinitis Pigmentosa from Research to Prevent Blindness, an organization considered to be the world's leading voluntary organization supporting eye research. Since it was founded in 1960, RPB has channeled hundreds of millions of dollars to medical institutions for research into the causes, treatment and prevention of all blinding eye diseases.
-end-
For more information on RPB, RPB-funded research, eye disorders and the RPB Grants Program, visit http://www.rpbusa.org.

A video outlining Baehr's work is available on University of Utah Health Care's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5tWH_SvWJk&list=UU_ZACSiA0Pm6tcYIrw86akA

University of Utah Health Sciences

Related Blindness Articles from Brightsurf:

New eye drops may prevent a common cause of blindness
New eye drops could prevent vision loss after retinal vein occlusion, a major cause of blindness for millions of adults, a study by Columbia University researchers has found.

Scientists pinpoint brain coordinates for face blindness
Danish and Norwegian researchers have moved one step closer to understanding where face blindness stems from in the brain.

Protein closely linked to commonest cause of blindness
An international team of scientists has identified a protein which is strongly linked to the commonest cause of blindness in developed countries when its levels are raised in the blood.

New glaucoma test to help prevent blindness
Researchers have identified 107 genes that increase a person's risk of developing the eye disease glaucoma, and now developed a genetic test to detect those at risk of going blind from it.

Treatments for leading cause of blindness generate $0.9 to $3 billion
A new economic study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology and conducted by USC researchers at the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics, the Ginsburg Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics, and the Roski Eye Institute, quantifies the benefits of treatment for wAMD.

Identifying a gene for canine night blindness
An international team of researchers led by the University of Pennsylvania's Keiko Miyadera has identified the gene mutation responsible for a form of night blindness in dogs.

Poor diet can lead to blindness
An extreme case of 'fussy' or 'picky' eating caused a young patient's blindness, according to a new case report published today [2 Sep 2019] in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Brighter possibilities for treating blindness
Advances in preclinical research are now being translated into innovative clinical solutions for blindness, a review published in the 10th anniversary series of science Translational Medicine depicts.

How blindness shapes sound processing
Adults who lost their vision at an early age have more refined auditory cortex responses to simple sounds than sighted individuals, according to new neuroimaging research published in JNeurosci.

Study identifies new genes associated with the leading cause of blindness
A new study, published in Clinical Epigenetics, identifies genes associated with Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) that could represent new targets for future drug development.

Read More: Blindness News and Blindness Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.