NIH Grant Supports IU Eye Research

Posted: Updated:
IU Professor Andrew Zelhof is leading the research. IU Professor Andrew Zelhof is leading the research.

The National Institutes of Health's National Eye Institute has awarded a nearly $2 million grant to Indiana University. The five-year award will go toward research aimed at preventing blindness caused by genetic disorders and aging.

Andrew Zelhof, associate professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences, is leading the study, which will use insects to study the effects of congenital birth defects and age on the eye. The research will go to the cellular and molecular level using a specific species of fruit fly.

"The basic genetic insights from these experiments will address issues common to all photoreceptors across taxa, from flies to humans," said Zelhof. "Understanding the functional blueprints for designing ways to see -- and the genes required for these designs -- will have a direct impact on our basic knowledge regarding the comparative biology of visual systems."

IU cites the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says congenital eye defects affect about 1 in 5,300 infants born in the United States. More than 28 million Americans are also affected by age-related eye disease or vision impairment, according to the CDC.

The NIH grant will support Zelhof's research through July 2021.

  • Perspectives

    • School District Raises Questions About ILEARN

      Like all schools in Indiana, we were disheartened at the ILEARN results for school year 2018. We would like to raise several questions concerning this test as it relates to college and career readiness for our students. The annual Indiana Statewide Assessment (this year’s ILEARN) has been developed to evaluate college and career readiness at all levels tested. We are very troubled by our lack of understanding of what indicators in the test evaluate...



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Purdue University ranks #7 for Best Value in a college education in the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal

      Two Indiana Schools Break Top 50 List of Best Colleges

      The Wall Street Journal and the Times Higher Education magazine have released their annual list of the top 801 colleges and universities in the country. Two Hoosier universities are included in the top 50.

    • Purdue to Open Chick-Fil-A Amid Protests

      Citing overwhelming demand for Chick-fil-A’s food and services, Purdue University has announced it will allow the restaurant to open on campus. The university has been at the center of a debate over the Georgia-based food chain. 

    • Buttigieg to Lead Task Force on Automation

      South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg will Friday launch a task force aimed at preparing for the effects of automation at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting. The mayor's office says “Automation and the Impacts on America’s Cities” will include mayors from throughout the country.

    • Sports betting is now legal in Indiana

      Protecting Data Integrity as Sports Betting Grows in Indiana

      Casinos across the state are opening sports betting parlors this week, legally allowing gamblers in Indiana to place bets on professional and some collegiate sports. Some opponents of the law are concerned the integrity of sports is at risk. Others are worried about the integrity of the data used by odds makers in the now-legal betting houses. “There's a mechanism in place that can stop that from happening, or curtail it from happening in the future,” explains...

    • (photo courtesy Cummins)

      Cummins Completes Deal for Fuel Cells Producer

      Columbus-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) has closed on its acquisition of Hydrogenics Corp., a fuel cell systems provider in Canada. Cummins says the $290 million deal helps push the company towards a wider range of power technologies, including fuel cells and hydrogen-fueled sectors.