June 26, 2014
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Bascom Palmer Eye Institute researchers receive $2.82 million grant

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The National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute has granted three vision researchers from the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine a 5-year, $2.82 million grant to study retinitis pigmentosa, according to a press release.

The recipients of the grant include Rong Wen, MD, PhD, and Byron Lam, MD, professors of ophthalmology at Bascom Eye Institute, along with Ziqiang Guan, PhD, a research associate from Duke University Medical School. The researchers will use the grant to study dehydrodolichyl diphosphate synthase-associated retinitis pigmentosa.

“With this grant, our team of investigators will accelerate the work to gain a better insight into the disease mechanism, which should pave the way for development of specific treatments,” Wen said in the release.

During their past 3 years of research, Wen, Lam and Guan found a key marker in blood and urine that identifies people who have genetic mutations for retinitis pigmentosa. The marker can be used in a diagnostic test to help develop treatments for dehydrodolichyl diphosphate synthase-associated retinitis pigmentosa, the release said.