NIH Core Grant and R01 Awarded

Philip Gage, Ph.D., Peter Hitchcock, Ph.D., Bret Hughes, Ph.D., and Patrice Fort, Ph.D., M.S.
Philip Gage, Ph.D., Peter Hitchcock, Ph.D., Bret Hughes, Ph.D., and Patrice Fort, Ph.D., M.S. (Not pictured: Terry Smith, M.D.)

Core Grant Award

The Vision Research Core offers shared state-of-the-art instrumentation, services and training, providing vision researchers at Kellogg and elsewhere at the University of Michigan with the necessary resources to pursue cutting-edge research. The Vision Research Core also acts as a central conduit for the exchange of information within the community of scientists at the University, thereby promoting collaboration and multidisciplinary approaches to vision research. 

The $2.95 million NIH Core Grant for Vision Research at Kellogg—under the direction of Bret Hughes, Ph.D. —was renewed for five years on Sept. 1, 2017.

R01 Awards

Four Kellogg NIH Research Project (R01) grants were also awarded. R01 grants support a discrete project representing the investigator's interest and competency. It is peer-reviewed for merit and conformity with the mission of the NIH.

R01 Awards went to:

Patrice Fort, Ph.D., M.S.

Progressive impact of diabetes on retinal neuroprotection by alpha-crystallins. Professor Fort’s laboratory focuses on existing mechanisms of retinal cell protection and how they are impaired during chronic neurodegenerative diseases. Past  investigations have identified a novel mechanism of regulation of one of those systems, involving a protein called alpha-crystallin. The next step is to manipulate that protein so that it remains effective or even enhanced. Dr. Fort and colleagues  will test the protein’s potential to prevent retinal cell death and functional loss in acute and chronic retinal neurodegeneration.  View Dr. Fort's profile.

Philip Gage, Ph.D.

Identification of PITX2-dependent mechanisms in the developing and mature cornea. Professor Gage’s laboratory uses genetically engineered mice to identify the molecular pathways regulated by the PITX2 transcription factor during corneal development, maintenance and wound healing following injury. The long-term goal is to advance the development of new approaches for treating vision loss due to corneal disease. View Dr. Gage's profile.

Peter Hitchcock, Ph.D.

Neuronal development, injury and repair in retina. Professor Hitchcock’s laboratory investigates the molecular mechanisms that regulate the birth, death and regeneration of neurons and photoreceptors in the vertebrate retina. It utilizes an animal  model in which intrinsic retinal stem cells can selectively regenerate rod and cone photoreceptors, which integrate into existing synaptic circuits thereby restoring vision or regenerating all cell types and restoring original tissue. View Dr. Hitchcock's profile.

Terry Smith, M.D.

Regulation of retroocular connective tissue. Dr. Smith’s laboratory investigates the molecular factors within the human orbit that influence cells that promote bone marrow disease. Previous work has disclosed that these cells are highly specialized  monocyte progenitors that fuel the autoimmune response. Dr. Smith and his colleagues propose that these cells determine whether patients with Graves' disease develop clinically important ophthalmopathy. View Dr. Smith's profile.