March 10, 1997

Media Contacts: Sarah Goodwin, 404/727-3366 - sgoodwi@emory.edu
Kathi Ovnic, 404/727-9371 - covnic@emory.edu

Emory Eye Center immunologist Judith A. Kapp, Ph.D., was awarded the Jules and Doris Stein Professorship from the Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB).

RPB, the world's leading philanthropic organization supporting eye research, granted the Eye Center $350,000 in support over five years and an opportunity to apply for additional funding. Dr. Kapp plans to use the funding for her laboratory research into retina cell transplantation as a treatment for blinding diseases of the retina, such as macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.

According to Thomas Aaberg, M.D., director of the Emory Eye Center, "This RPB professorship is a great honor for Emory. Dr. Kapp is very bright researcher who is already well known in the scientific community for her work with islet cell transplant immunology. The RPB funding will help her purchase necessary laboratory equipment and recruit staff. It also will help her initiate research into retina cell transplantation, a promising new therapy."

One day in the near future surgeons may have the capability to transplant or insert healthy, vision-enhancing cells directly into areas of the retina destroyed by disease. The retina is the eye's "film," the tissue in the back of the eye that creates visual images.

The Emory Eye Center is the third leading eye center in the United States for the number of ophthalmology clinical trials and is one of the top 10 institutions in the nation for the number of research grants. Among some of the more important work conducted at Emory is research into the causes, diagnosis and prevention of glaucoma and corneal, retinal and inherited eye diseases.

For more general information on The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, call Health Sciences News and Information at 404-727-5686, or send e-mail to hsnews@emory.edu.

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