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Grytz receives glaucoma award from BrightFocus

Rafael Grytz, Ph.D., associate professor, received the Thomas R. Lee Award for Glaucoma Research from the BrightFocus Foundation recognizing his grant, “Quantifying Collagen Remodeling of the Optic Nerve Head”, as the second-highest rated proposal received by the National Glaucoma Research Program in 2015. The award was presented at the Association for Research in Ophthalmology and Vision Science (ARVO) annual meeting on Monday, May 4, 2015. Grytz Samules

“I am very privileged and grateful to receive this award from BrightFocus,” said Grytz. “This recognition is very motivating and shows this work is heading in the right direction.”

Grytz, along with collaborator Brian C. Samuels, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of ophthalmology, are developing a new methodology to image and quantify growth and remodeling in glaucoma at multiple length scales. It is understood that the connective tissues in the optic nerve head undergo significant changes during glaucoma development and progression, but little is understood about the underlying mechanisms for these changes. To study growth and remodeling mechanisms in glaucoma is very challenging, as the optic nerve head is not directly accessible for imaging as other tissues. Therefore Grytz and Samuels propose to develop a new imaging and quantification methodology, and to apply this methodology to a new animal model to gain insights into the underlying mechanisms of glaucoma.

“The development of animal models that accurately reflect the pathophysiology of human disease is critical in the evaluation of pathologic processes and in translating potential findings to treatment modalities. I am very excited to work with Dr. Grytz on this project, where we will use a new animal model to study growth and remodeling mechanisms in glaucoma,” said Samuels.

The Thomas R. Lee Award is presented annually to the second-highest rated proposal in the National Glaucoma Research (NGR) program. Mr. Lee was a farmer, businessman, investor, real estate developer, and philanthropist. Inspired by his own battle with glaucoma, Thomas R. Lee bequeathed a significant gift to NGR to ensure continuous funding for research is available.

Learn more about Grytz’s research into growth and remodeling in glaucoma and other diseases such as myopia and kerataconus.

Learn more about Samuels’ research into the role of the central nervous system in the development and progression of glaucoma.

Source: UAB News