Grant Could Lead to Non-Invasive Early Detection of Diabetic Retinopathy
Madison, Wisconsin - A team of researchers led by Dr. Nader Sheibani, associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, has won a $3.16 million federal grant to improve the detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.
The National Eye Institute (NEI) estimates that about 4.1 million people in the United States 40 years and older have diabetic retinopathy; one of every 12 people with the condition in this age group has advanced, vision-threatening retinopathy.
Projections suggest that diabetic retinopathy will increase with the aging of the U.S. population.
Other UW-Madison members of the research team include Dr. Amir Assadi, professor of mathematics, and Dr. Fariba Assadi-Porter, an associate scientist in biochemistry, as well as Dr. Hao Zhang, assistant professor of electrical engineering at UW-Milwaukee.
The team plans to develop a new, non-invasive imaging technology, as well as novel molecular and biochemical methods, to detect the earliest abnormalities in the retina caused by high blood sugar.
"We believe that detecting and identify the early changes that progress to advanced stages of the disease will allow for a better diagnosis, prevention and treatment," Sheibani says.
This National Institutes of Health Office of the Director Award (RC4) is administered through the NEI. Earlier this year, the research team was one of eight hybrid teams of faculty from UW-Milwaukee and UW-Madison to win the first Intercampus Research Incentive grants, designed to foster inter-institutional collaboration. That grant awarded about $50,000 for the diabetic retinopathy imaging research.
Date Published: 10/07/2010