August 30, 2012
Kellogg Physician-Scientist Receives Research to Prevent Blindness Career Development Award
Brenda Bohnsack, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, received the Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) Career Development Award. This prestigious award helps recruit promising young researchers to ophthalmology and supports junior faculty who have demonstrated their potential for independent research. The award provides funding of $250,000 over a four-year period.
Dr. Bohnsack's research focuses on congenital eye abnormalities, such as Axenfeld-Rieger Syndrome and primary congenital glaucoma — which are important causes of blindness in children and young adults. Her goal is to better understand the genes that regulate eye development and use this information to prevent blindness in children with congenital eye diseases.
"Congenital eye anomalies are often due to abnormal development of the neural crest, a transient population of embryonic stem cells," says Dr. Bohnsack who completed her ophthalmology residency and research post-doctoral fellowship at Kellogg Eye Center. "We want to investigate the molecular roles of genes associated with congenital eye diseases and identify additional genes important for eye development. This work could lead to breakthroughs in genetic testing and new therapeutic approaches."
RPB is the leading voluntary health organization supporting eye research directed at the prevention, treatment or eradication of all diseases that threaten vision. In pursuit of this objective, RPB has committed hundreds of millions of dollars in grant support to provide scientific manpower, technological equipment and eye research laboratory facilities. As a result, RPB researchers have been associated with nearly every major breakthrough in the understanding and treatment of the loss of vision across the past 50 years. For information on RPB, RPB-funded research, eye disorders and the RPB Grants Program, go to www.rpbusa.org.
Written by Barbara Wylan Sefton