Major National Eye Institute Grant Awarded to Train Next Generation of Vision Scientists

Major National Eye Institute Grant Awarded to Train Next Generation of Vision Scientists

OKLAHOMA CITY—The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) has been awarded a major training grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Eye Institute (NEI) to support aspiring vision researchers. Daniel J.J. Carr, PhD, a basic scientist at the Dean McGee Eye Institute and M.G. McCool Professor in the OU Department of Ophthalmology, serves as the principal investigator for the $700,000 grant, which is entitled “Cellular and Molecular Cascades in Vision Research.”

This five-year training grant will support graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in their study of ocular conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and corneal disease. It will engage faculty from OUHSC’s Departments of Ophthalmology, Cell Biology, Medicine, Microbiology/Immunology, Pathology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physiology as well as the Oklahoma Center for Neuroscience and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

“Institutional training grants from the National Eye Institute are awarded only to the top-tier research centers nationally, and receiving such a prestigious grant devoted to vision research is a first for Oklahoma, the Dean McGee Eye Institute, and the OU Health Sciences Center,” said Dr. Gregory Skuta, President and CEO of the Dean McGee Eye Institute and Edward L. Gaylord Professor and Chair of the OU College of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology. “This unique grant, which reflects the strength of the vision science community on this campus, will provide the resources necessary to allow promising young vision investigators to work side by side with our senior-level scientists, giving them invaluable hands-on experience in some of the latest advances in eye research.”

Training grants from the NIH/NEI are awarded to stimulate and support a pipeline of vision researchers in order to advance treatments for blinding diseases and other disorders of the eye. This represents the first such vision training grant at the OU Health Sciences Center and is one of only two NIH training grants currently active there.

Dr. Carr, who heads the grant, is also Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, a Presbyterian Health Foundation Presidential Professor, and Assistant Dean for the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. He joined the OUHSC faculty in 1999.

About the Dean McGee Eye Institute
The Dean McGee Eye Institute is dedicated to serving all Oklahomans and the global community through excellence and leadership in patient care, education and vision research. It is one of the largest and most respected eye institutes in the United States and houses the Department of Ophthalmology for the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. Its research and training programs are among the most highly regarded in the country. Nineteen of the Institute’s ophthalmologists are listed in the Best Doctors in America; its Director of Vision Research is a Past President of the International Society for Eye Research, Past Vice President of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and a recipient of ARVO’s prestigious Proctor Medal; two members of the faculty are recent or current directors of the American Board of Ophthalmology; three serve on the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Ophthalmology; one is Vice Chair of the Residency Review Committee in Ophthalmology for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education; and one is President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a Past President of the American Glaucoma Society. For more information, visit

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