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Media Contact: Joy Bell 01 June 2007    
  (404) 778-3711   Print  | Email ]

Emory Researcher Tapped as Trustee for Eye Research Group
At a recent meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Emory Eye Center researcher Jeffrey H. Boatright, PhD, was elected as trustee for the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Section.

During his five-year term, Dr. Boatright will serve along with 13 other trustees who manage the affairs of ARVO. Trustees are elected from candidates put forth by the Association's 13 Scientific Sections. The Association is the premier professional society in Dr. Boatright's field.

"We are so pleased that the impressive work of Jeff Boatright has been acknowledged by ARVO," says Thomas M. Aaberg, Sr., MD, director of Emory Eye Center. "This honor is a testament not only to his high standing in the research community but also to his body of work."

"It was a great honor to be nominated and then elected by my peers to this position of responsibility," says Dr. Boatright. "The vision research community is very fortunate that ARVO is so dynamic and healthy, a result of decades of strong and thoughtful leadership. I hope to continue in that tradition."

Dr. Boatright joined Emory Eye Center in 1999. He currently serves as Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology, where he uses molecular and cellular biology techniques to study endogenous DNA repair mechanisms with the goal of harnessing such mechanisms to repair genomic DNA mutations that lead to blindness.

An R01 grant from The National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports this work.

In a second major project, Dr. Boatright uses in vivo pharmacological approaches to explore the effects of hydrophilic bile acids and other atypical, endogenous compounds on animal models of retinal degeneration and glaucoma. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM, NIH), a Veterans Administration (VA) Merit Award, and a Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) project grant fund this work.

In a third project, Dr. Boatright and colleagues are exploring new ways to deliver therapeutic compounds to the retina and other posterior eye structures. The work is supported by an NEI R24 Multicenter Grant.

Dr. Boatright is founding and current editor-in-chief of Molecular Vision, a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the dissemination of research results in molecular biology, cell biology, and the genetics of the visual system. The journal ranks second in a field of 14 competing journals and is routinely used as an Open Access exemplar by the National Library of Medicine and The National Institutes of Health Library. The journal has won numerous awards and is supported by Knights Templar funding and through initiatives generated in the Department of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Boatright is a principle investigator (PI) for an NEI R01 grant, director of a research award from FFB, module co-Director for an NEI Core Grant, co-PI for a VA Merit Award, module co-Director for an NEI R24 Multicenter Grant, and recipient of numerous other grants and awards. He chairs or serves on several departmental, institutional and professional society committees, and serves on NIH grant review committees. He is an active member of the Board of the Georgia affiliate of the FFB.

ARVO's mission is to encourage and assist research, training, publication and dissemination of knowledge in vision and ophthalmology, according to its bylaws. It was founded in 1928 in Washington, DC, by 73 ophthalmologists. ARVO was originally named the Association for Research in Ophthalmology (ARO), but the word "vision" was added in 1970 to better reflect the scientific profile of its members. Membership is comprised of more than 11,500 individuals. Some 42 percent of members reside in over 70 countries outside the United States. The membership is multi-disciplinary and consists of both clinical and basic researchers.

Editor's Note:
Dr. Boatright is a resident of Decatur
The Emory Eye Center includes the Department of Ophthalmology, part of the Emory School of Medicine, its clinical sector and all aspects of research. Ranked in the top 20 of the U.S. News & World Report's annual survey of the nation's best eye centers, Emory Eye Center remains in the top ten of the peer-evaluated Ophthalmology Times survey. The South's first corneal transplant was performed in Georgia in 1947; its refractive surgery trials were conducted in the 1980s, and it remains at the forefront of many national clinical trials, including those on macular degeneration and glaucoma.

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