Sonka, Garvin, Abramoff Help Lead New VA Center on Vision Research, Treatment

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A five-year, $5 million grant to establish a Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Visual Loss was awarded to the Iowa City Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center by the Veterans Affairs Division of Rehabilitation Research and Development.

The center will involve researchers from other medical college departments, the UI College of Engineering, the UI College of Public Health and Iowa State University, as well as collaborators nationwide. 

The center will be led by Randy Kardon, M.D., Ph.D., UI professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences and director of neuro-ophthalmology. Kardon, who also holds the Pomerantz Family Chair in Ophthalmology, is a VA staff physician. Michael Abràmoff, M.D., Ph.D., UI associate professor of ophthalmology and computer and electrical engineering and VA retinal specialist, will be associate director.

Also from the College of Engineering are Milan Sonka, professor and departmental executive officer of electrical and computer engineering and co-director of the Iowa Institute of Biomedical Imaging; and Mona Garvin, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.

The center will pursue three research areas to advance treatments for visual disorders affecting veterans and the general population: traumatic brain injury; neurotrophic growth factors and neuroprotection; and telemedical detection of eye disease.