A new eye research institute to accelerate clinical applications for blinding conditions

A new eye research institute to accelerate clinical applications for blinding conditions
Researchers and clinicians there will work to advance the understanding of eye diseases and develop new therapies for vision loss.

The Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB) will address the challenge of vision loss due to ophthalmic diseases as a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary organisation.

Researchers and clinicians there will work to advance the understanding of eye diseases and develop new therapies for vision loss. Jointly founded by Basel University, University Hospital Basel and Novartis, IOB is headed by Botond Roska and Hendrik Scholl, leading experts in basic and clinical eye research.

Globally, the prevalence of eye diseases continues to rise, and most are currently untreatable. In ageing societies, disorders such as macular degeneration or glaucoma are a leading cause of disability and loss of independent lifestyle.

Worldwide, and especially in Asia, myopia (short-sightedness) is rapidly increasing. In some regions, up to 90% of teenagers are affected. IOB addresses this challenge as a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary organisation.

What will be the focus of the eye research institute?

key information about the institute:

  • At the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB), basic researchers and clinicians will work to advance the understanding of eye diseases and to develop new therapies for vision loss;
  • The new institute is headed by Professors Botond Roska and Hendrik Scholl, leading experts in basic and clinical eye research;
  • The University of Basel, the University Hospital Basel and Novartis jointly founded the novel research institute; and
  • Collaboration across disciplines and between basic scientists and clinicians is indispensable for the development of new therapies. IOB addresses the challenge of vision loss due to ophthalmic diseases as a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary organisation.

This new research institute will establish ten endowed professorships and 125 additional positions for scientists by 2024. This is possible because of the substantial, long-term financial commitment of the founders and the Canton of Basel-Stadt.

Apart from contributions by the founders, it is expected that the IOB will continue to acquire additional funding from collaborations and/or research funding programmes.

Hendrik Scholl, Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Basel and Head of the Eye Clinic at University Hospital Basel, said: “Our goal is to change the field of ophthalmic therapy. We are working to accelerate the conversion of basic research into innovative treatments, and to turn discoveries and technologies into clinical applications for blinding conditions.”

Source: Alphagalileo

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