CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 384-4638
Release: Nov. 19, 2001
UI researchers receive grant to create eye device
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa Health Care project to develop an
instrument to better diagnose and treat eye diseases that cause vision loss
has received another boost in funding.
Randy Kardon, M.D., Ph.D., UI associate professor of ophthalmology and visual
sciences, and Young H. Kwon, M.D., Ph.D., UI assistant professor (clinical)
in ophthalmology and visual sciences, in conjunction with Kestrel Corporation
in Albuquerque, N.M., have received a two-year, $750,000 phase two Small Business
Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the National Eye Institute (NEI).
This is the second SBIR grant the two UI investigators have received from
the NEI. In 2000, the researchers and Kestrel Corporation were awarded a $100,000
phase one SBIR grant.
The eye instrument is designed to provide images and analysis of spectral
properties of the retina, which is the nerve layer that lines the inside of
the eye. The new grant will help the collaborators modify the device and later
test it on human participants at the UI.
The retina converts light into nerve signals that the brain then interprets
as images. In certain diseases, such as glaucoma, the optic nerve becomes
damaged and leads to blindness.
Kardon is also a researcher with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in
The National Eye Institute, a branch of the National Institutes of Health,
supports research that addresses the leading causes of blindness and impaired
vision in the United States. SBIR awards are designed to help determine the
technical merit and feasibility of proposed research and development efforts
that may ultimately lead to a commercial product or service.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between
the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient
care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit
UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.