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Research Center to Improve Quality of Life for Blind and Visually Impaired

Author: Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research

Published: 2009-10-07 : (Rev. 2010-07-04)

Synopsis and Key Points:

Worlds largest ocular research center to improve quality of life for blind and visually impaired.

Main Digest

World's Largest Ocular Research Center to Improve Quality of Life for Blind and Visually Impaired.

Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research Sets Sights on Advances in Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma

Real-time biomedical studies of factors leading to vision impairment are now possible through the world's largest ocular research center at Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research. As the first research center in the world to be directly combined with an eye bank, the Ocular Research Center provides a repository of healthy and diseased ocular tissue for researchers from academic institutions, government organizations and the pharmaceutical industry.

For the first time, researchers can study the complete picture of health through tissue, medical history and family information, which will improve the understanding of underlying health factors leading to vision impairment and blindness. These studies will drive the development of new diagnostic tests and pharmacologic treatments for delaying, stopping and preventing progression of ocular diseases and conditions.

Over the past 30 years, Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research has provided 50,000 eyes for research and given the gift of sight through cornea transplantation to more than 30,000 men, women and children worldwide.

"The Ocular Research Center recently established a relationship with Emory University and we look forward to forming relationships with other organizations to accelerate drug innovation, provide timely clinical trials and formalize best practices," said Jason Woody, Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research CEO.

The initial research platforms will explore the leading causes of blindness, macular degeneration and glaucoma, which affect millions of Americans. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly, profoundly affecting their quality of life. Glaucoma, affecting upwards of 3 million Americans, contributes to more than 120,000 new cases of blindness each year and is the leading cause of blindness among African Americans.

A non-profit, charitable organization founded in 1973, the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research improves outcomes and enhances quality of life for people who are blind or visually impaired. The Lions Eye Institute strives to fulfill the Lion's pledge to Helen Keller "to be the Knights of the blind in the crusade against blindness" through the recovery, evaluation, and distribution of eye tissue for transplantation, research and education. For more information, visit

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