Eye Research Institute receives grant for instrument to study cataract disease

Eye Research Institute receives grant for instrument to study cataract disease
Eye Research Institute receives grant for instrument to study cataract disease
Frank Giblin, Ph.D., pictured on the left, and Dr. Vidhi Mishra stand next to the Bio Tek Cytation 3 Multi-Mode Reader, which will assist with studies on how cataracts form at a molecular level. Mishra is an expert in use of the instrument, Giblin said.

Scientific studies show that 20 million people over age 40 across the country have cataracts in either eye.


Oakland University researchers now have a piece of high-tech equipment to help them better understand maturity-onset cataract and potentially assist in developing therapies that can delay the global health problem, thanks to a $41,220 grant from the DMC Foundation.


The high-powered instrument, called a Bio Tek Cytation 3 Multi-Mode Reader, will assist with studies Oakland’s Eye Research Institute (ERI) is conducting into how cataracts form on a molecular level.


The total cost of the instrument, $56,220, was also partially paid for by the ERI, the Provost’s Office and ERI Director Frank Giblin, Ph.D., through a donation to the university.


Giblin said his studies, which are funded by the National Eye Institute through 2018, will investigate how proteins in the center of the lens of the eye bind together to ultimately cause cataracts.


“About one in every seven Americans exhibits some type of cataractous lens change,” said Giblin. “Although the success rate of cataract surgery is high, information on how to prevent or delay the onset of cataract would be very beneficial.”


The instrument can also help with projects already being carried out by Oakland students, and will be made available for use by other Oakland University biomedical researchers in the Biology, Chemistry and Physics departments, Giblin said.


“We are very grateful to the DMC Foundation for its generosity,” Giblin said. “The studies that we plan to conduct with the instrument would be impossible without it.”


The DMC Foundation is a philanthropic organization created in 2010 to promote the well-being of people in the metro Detroit area through the support of health-related research, education and community benefit activities.


In recent years, the foundation has awarded grants to the Wayne State University School of Medicine, the American Diabetes Association and several others.


For more information about the Eye Research Institute, visit www.oakland.edu/eri.