Dr. Roorda receives NEI Audacious Goals Initiative grant

Austin Roorda

Professor Austin Roorda

The Vision Science community congratulates Professor Austin Roorda on his outstanding achievement of being awarded one of the five NEI Audacious Goals Initiative.

The Initiative is a coordinated effort to develop new therapies for blinding diseases. The central audacious goal is to restore vision by regenerating neurons and neural connections in the eye and visual system. Special emphasis is devoted to cells of the retina, including the light-sensitive rod and cone photoreceptors, and the retinal ganglion cells, which connect photoreceptors to the brain via the optic nerve.

Ranked #1 in the competition, Austin Roorda’s proposal is focused on designing a system to map the interaction of cells in the retina. The system will enable scientists to stimulate individual neurons and observe other cells as they become active in response. Mapping these intricate signaling patterns will help explain how the retina processes visual information before it is sent to the brain, and will be an important tool for monitoring function in regenerated cells. The system will incorporate eye tracking components and adaptive optics, a technology that corrects for distortion imposed by the cornea and lens.

Please visit the NIH announcement and  UC Berkeley News Center for more information.

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