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Media Contact: Joy Bell 25 July 2007    
  (404) 778-3711   Print  | Email ]

Emory Eye Center Awarded Grant from Research to Prevent Blindness
The Emory Eye Center is the recipient of a $110,000 unrestricted grant to fund research from the Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB), the world's leading voluntary organization supporting eye research.

The Emory Eye Center research will be directed by Thomas M. Aaberg Sr., MD, FACS, director of Emory Eye Center and chairman of Emory's Department of Ophthalmology. To date, RPB has awarded grants totaling $3,002,100 to Emory University School of Medicine.

"We are so appreciative of this continued funding for our important research into the causes and prevention of blinding eye disease," says Dr. Aaberg. "Without RPB support, early investigations which eventually lead to National Eye Institute submissions would never occur."

At Emory Eye Center, RPB funding has most recently been used to help underwrite an innovative teaching simulation that uses "mannequin heads" to help medical students detect neurological disorders with an ophthalmoscope, an instrument that examines the eye.

Many medical students who are not specializing in ophthalmology graduate without knowing how to use the ophthalmoscope -- a basic instrument of ophthalmologists to examine the interior of the eye.

Valérie Biousse, MD, an Emory Eye Center neuro-ophthalmologist, seeks to show these students how important the use of this tool is in many neurological and neurosurgical emergencies. Many times these emergencies present no visual symptoms, but the use of an ophthalmoscope in an urgent situation could save patients' lives.

Founded in 1960, RPB has channeled hundreds of millions of dollars to medical institutions throughout the United States for research into all blinding diseases.


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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