This proposal requests funds for a spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) from Heidelberg Industries, Inc. This instrument will be housed in a laboratory located at the University of Wisconsin McPherson Eye Research Institute (ERI), within the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR) and immediately adjacent to the Clinical Science Centre at University of Wisconsin-Madison. This instrumentation will be freely available to investigators campus-wide including investigators from the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual sciences (DOVS), and from the McPherson ERI. Preferential access will be assured for NIH grantees named asusers on this proposal. This instrument will be an invaluable tool for NIH- funded investigators who study rodent models of ocular diseases ranging from retinopathies to glaucoma to corneal diseases. The availability of the multi-modality imaging technologies incorporated in this instrument will greatly facilitate completion of existing projects. Reliance on cross-sectional data will be reduced, as the instrument will enable longitudinal imaging studies to be carried out with precision in individual subjects in vivo, thus improving quality and reducing variability of data sets acquired, as well as reducing the number of animals required in our research programs. In addition, the availability of this instrument will complement and build on existing resources and expertise at UW-Madison, enabling new research strategies that will enhance understanding of structure-function relationships, patho-physiology and treatment effects in the various models of important eye diseases that are under investigation by researchers at our institution. This resource will promote the success of investigators with existing, NIH funded research programs and will enhance the competitiveness of faculty at our institution in securing future funding.
The proposed acquisition of the HRA+OCT instrument for use by investigators studying animal models of ocular disease at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will greatly benefit a significant number of established, NIH-funded groups of researchers spanning a range of disciplines. The impacted research projects have great direct relevance to public health as they target important causes of vision loss in the human population that span diseases of infancy to diseases commonly encountered in the aging population. A very broad range of studies will be facilitated by this acquisition and will include various studies examining determinants of glaucoma susceptibility;effects of aging on the retina and visual system;acquired and inherited corneal pathologies;and the development and testing of emerging gene and stem cell therapies for ocular disorders such as inherited retinal dystrophies and degenerations and glaucoma.