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Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Researchers Receive NIH Blueprint Award

Posted: 09.28.2011

Jeffrey L. Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D., John Bixby, Ph.D. and Vance Lemmon, Ph.D.
Jeffrey L. Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D., John Bixby, Ph.D. and Vance Lemmon, Ph.D.

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute working in conjunction with University’s Miami Project to Cure Paralysis

Jeffrey L. Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D., of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute is one of a three-member University of Miami (UM) Miller School of Medicine team to receive a grant through the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s “Blueprint for Neuroscience Research.” The purpose of the funding is to help these researchers further their work on optic neuropathy, with the goal of developing compounds that help injured fibers in the optic nerve regenerate and grow through scar tissue. Damage to the optic nerves, which connect the eyes to the brain, is a common cause of vision loss. The other two team members, John Bixby, Ph.D. and Vance Lemmon, Ph.D. are researchers with the University’s Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Collectively, their work has important implications for spinal cord regeneration as well.

“There is currently no good treatment to encourage regeneration in optic nerve stroke, or other diseases like glaucoma,” said Goldberg. “The chance to tap into a powerful NIH-organized network of drug-development experts in an effort to bring a new drug to human trials is a very exciting opportunity for our team.”

The NIH Blueprint pulls together 15 of the agency’s institutes and centers, leveraging their resources to confront major, crosscutting challenges in neuroscience research. The Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network will be funded up to $50 million over five years and will help investigators develop new drugs for nervous system disorders and prepare them for clinical trials. The UM team will receive research funding, plus access to millions of dollars worth of resources normally only available to pharmaceutical companies.

About Bascom Palmer: Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine is ranked the #1 eye hospital in the nation, as noted in U.S. News & World Report. Having earned an international reputation as one of the premier providers of eye care in the world, Bascom Palmer has also been ranked #1 in patient care and residency training by Ophthalmology Times. As the largest ophthalmic care, research and educational facility in the southeastern United States, each year Bascom Palmer treats more than 250,000 patients with nearly every ophthalmic condition and performs more than 12,000 surgeries. Founded in 1962, Bascom Palmer has patient care facilities in Miami, Palm Beach Gardens, Naples, and Plantation, Florida. For additional information about Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, contact Ann Carney at (305) 326-6190 or e-mail: bpeicommunications@med.miami.edu. You may also visit our website at bascompalmer.org