Who We Are
- The Eye Research Institute (ERI) is a center for ophthalmic research. Its primary mandate is to conduct research into the underlying causes of eye diseases that result in blindness and loss of vision.
- The institute is an independent academic unit of Oakland University, a comprehensive state university in Rochester, Michigan. The ERI occupies the entire fourth floor of Dodge Hall with additional laboratories on the third floor.
- The institute has full-time faculty members, research associates, post-doctoral fellows, affiliated clinical faculty, support staff and students.
- Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at Oakland University as science majors have the opportunity to work side-by-side with faculty. They experience not only the rigor of the scientific method but also the rewards of attacking problems associated with human health and disease.
Founded in 1968 by Dr. V. Everett Kinsey and Dr. Venkat N. Reddy, the Eye Research Institute at Oakland University began as a 10,000 square foot facility funded by a National Institutes of Health Construction Grant. The institute was recognized as a center of excellence in vision research in 1984 with the receipt of a Core Vision grant from the National Eye Institute. This milestone allowed the institute's expansion and the creation of staffed core facilities in electron microscopy and tissue culture.
A second growth phase occurred in 1989, when clinical professorial appointments in the institute were granted to senior members of the Department of Ophthalmology at William Beaumont Hospital. The partnership between the Eye Research Institute and the Ophthalmology Department fosters collaborative research and provides a joint ophthalmology residency and fellowship program.
Dr. Venkat Reddy retired in 1997 as director of the institute after 22 years of service. Dr. Janet Blanks from the Doheney Eye Institute at the University of Southern California served as director from 1997 to 2002. Dr. Frank Giblin is the current director.
Since 1968, the Eye Research Institute faculty have received over $50 million in research grant support from private and federal health agencies. The major research support has come from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Other funding sources include:
- State of Michigan through Oakland University
- March of Dimes
- American Health Assistance Foundation
- Michigan Eye Bank
- Fight For Sight
- Alcon Pharmaceutical Company
- Shojin Research Associates
- Beaumont Foundation and Beaumont Research Institute
- NCRR (NIH)
- Lincy Foundation
- Johnson & Johnson
- Vision Research ROPARD Foundation
- A Night for Sight, sponsored by the Alliance for Vision Research
The faculty at the ERI have a fine tradition of articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Below are some statistics about publications from the faculty at the Eye Research Institute: