The vision science group at Augusta University/Medical College of Georgia is known collectively as the James and Jean Culver Vision Discovery Institute (Culver VDI). The mission of the Culver VDI is to engage in high impact research and discovery for patients suffering from blindness and visual disorders. Within this group of basic science researchers and ophthalmologists are 22 investigators who direct 15 NEI R01s, 2 NEI R21s and 1 NEI K99. The objective of the center core grant for vision research is (1) to provide crucially needed expertise and instrumentation to enhance the research programs of these talented investigators and (2) to promote collaborations within the group and with scientists across the nation. To achieve this mission, we have organized facilities, services and shared instrumentation into the following three modules: (1) Visual Function Assessment; (2) Histology and Imaging; (3) Gene Expression/Proteomics. These modules provide research resources, services and shared instrumentation that are essential to the success of ongoing projects in multiple laboratories. Support of these modules will boost development of new projects and enhance collaborations bringing the best of the latest technology to our NEI-funded research. Augusta University is committed to vision science and to the Culver VDI, which launched in 2008. Since that time, the University has supported recruitment of 11 vision research faculty with competitive start-up packages and laboratory space across multiple departments and colleges. The University has sponsored clinically-relevant pilot projects and travel awards for trainees, assisted with the purchase of sophisticated instrumentation and facilitated collaboration/communication through the support of a robust seminar series, an annual retreat and monthly group meetings. Support is requested in the form of this Center Core Grant for Vision Research to achieve the following aims:
Aim 1. To provide support for module personnel who assist and train investigators and their staff in the use of sophisticated instrumentation and methodology.
Aim 2. To provide select services thereby enhancing productivity of Augusta University vision researchers and avoiding unnecessary duplication of equipment/effort.
Aim 3. To ensure continued productivity of outstanding clinically-relevant vision research by assisting: a) established and first-time NEI R01-funded investigators, b) established NEI R01-funded investigators who seek to renew their NEI-funded projects or develop new vision-related projects, c) scientists from other fields who bring their scientific expertise to the fields of vision research.

Public Health Relevance

The Vision Research Core Grant will provide crucially needed expertise/instrumentation to enhance research related to the visual system under normal and diseased conditions. To achieve this goal, facilities, services and shared instrumentation have been organized into three modules: (1) Visual Function Assessment; (2) Histology and Imaging; (3) Gene Expression/Proteomics. These modules will enhance the capability of vision researchers to engage in high impact research/discovery for patients suffering from blindness and visual disorders.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEY1)
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Liberman, Ellen S
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Augusta University
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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