Clinical vision research is a high priority at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). This priority has been tangibly realized through the establishment of the Clinical Research Unit in the Department of Ophthalmology and the appointment of Cynthia Owsley, PhD, MSPH as its Director. The primary goal of this R21 application is to increase the patient-oriented research capability at UAB in the area of eye disease and vision impairment. This area of research has been a largely untapped, but very promising reservoir of opportunity at UAB for public health scientists. The Clinical Research Unit will provide the research resources and infrastructure to facilitate clinical and epidemiological research projects of the highest quality among participating faculty. These resources will consist of personnel who will provide collaboration and consultation on: (1) biostatistics and study methodology, (2)database design and data acquisition systems, (3) project management, (4) """"""""grantsmanship"""""""", such as identifying grants programs relevant to faculty interests, developing ideas into tangible proposals, and constructing budgets, and (5) facilitating faculty training through encouraging enrollment into existing clinical research training programs on the UAB campus and/or through NIH's clinical scientist training program (K-awards). The UAB community represents a unique venue for clinical vision research. First, the clinical vision research faculty at UAB represents all three types of degree professionals in vision: MDs, ODs, and PhDs, who already work collaboratively. This type of professional interaction is not possible at many institutions where only one or two of the three types of professionals are on the faculty, but not all three. Second, NIH and DHHS have called for scientists to meet the challenge of eliminating health disparities in the U.S. population. The focus of most of our faculty research projects will be on subpopulations that have a higher prevalence of eye disease, vision impairment and decrements in health-related quality of life as compared to the general population (e.g., African Americans, older adults, nursing home residents, persons with low vision). Furthermore, UAB has already established many community relations and research infrastructure contacts with these subpopulations that will immediately facilitate our research efforts.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZEY1-VSN (02))
Program Officer
Everett, Donald F
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Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
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University of Alabama Birmingham
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
McGwin Jr, Gerald; Wood, Joanne; Huisingh, Carrie et al. (2016) Motor Vehicle Collision Involvement among Persons with Hemianopia and Quadrantanopia. Geriatrics (Basel) 1:
Bowers, Alex R; Sheldon, Sarah S; DeCarlo, Dawn K et al. (2016) Bioptic Telescope Use and Driving Patterns of Drivers with Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Transl Vis Sci Technol 5:5
Calabrèse, Aurélie; Owsley, Cynthia; McGwin, Gerald et al. (2016) Development of a Reading Accessibility Index Using the MNREAD Acuity Chart. JAMA Ophthalmol 134:398-405
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Elliott, Amanda F; Dreer, Laura E; McGwin Jr, Gerald et al. (2010) The personal burden of decreased vision-targeted health-related quality of life in nursing home residents. J Aging Health 22:504-21
McGwin, Gerald; Khoury, Rita; Cross, Jennifer et al. (2010) Vision impairment and eye care utilization among Americans 50 and older. Curr Eye Res 35:451-8
Elgin, Jennifer; McGwin, Gerald; Wood, Joanne M et al. (2010) Evaluation of on-road driving in people with hemianopia and quadrantanopia. Am J Occup Ther 64:268-78

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