This P30 renewal proposal requests continued funding to support the operation of five resource modules within the Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Research Center (OVSRC) of the University of Pittsburgh. The OVSRC provides a home base for the basic and clinical vision research for ~25 vision scientists in four departments of the University of Pittsburgh and two departments of Carnegie Mellon University. The innovative work of these scientists is advancing our knowledge of corneal cell biology and regeneration; glaucoma (imaging, trabecular meshwork stem cell biology and stem cell based therapeutics, and ocular biomechanics); retinal and RPE development, degeneration and regeneration; visual neuroscience; ocular infectious disease; ocular immunology; the ocular microbiome; and visual/cortical prosthetics, among other areas. We are a collegial, collaborative and productive group of researchers; eighteen of our vision scientists hold twenty-three qualifying NEI-funded R01 grants, one vision scientist holds two highly vision-related R01 grants that are funded through other NIH institutes, two vision scientists hold R00 grants from the NEI, and one vision scientist holds a K08 award from the NEI. The remaining participating faculty in the Core Grant either hold significant vision-related grants from the Department of Defense or DARPA, or they are new investigators that are generating pilot data for submission of their first NEI/NIH R01 grants. Importantly, many of these new investigators have already been successful in obtaining seed grants from vision research foundations to support their research programs. Over the last 29 years, the Core Grant for Vision Research has played a central role in enhancing the NEI-funded research of our participating faculty, and supporting new faculty in establishing their vision research programs. In this renewal application, the Core Grant will continue to provide resources, services, and technologies that are essential to the success of the vision research efforts underway at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. The Core Grant enhances the overall vision research environment in Pittsburgh by: 1) providing core resources that are critical to the success of vision scientists; 2) enhancing collaboration among vision scientists in the Pittsburgh area, 3) aiding in the recruitment of new vision scientists to Pittsburgh, and 4) providing intellectual and technical support for the advanced training of students and fellows in vision sciences.
The Core Grant for Vision Research supports the efforts of a diverse group of vision scientists in the Pittsburgh area. The grant provides critical support to NEI-funded investigators, and it supports pilot studies that can be incorporated into new NIH/NEI R01 applications from new investigators or established investigators moving into vision research. The services and equipment provided by this grant allow our vision scientists to integrate diverse scientific approaches into their vision research projects and thereby enhance their overall impact.
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