From its opening in 1992, the Eye Institute has grown in terms of the breadth of expertise in vision related research. Due to the efforts of six basic scientists, well-established research programs in cellular and molecular biology, biomedical instrumentation, electrophysiology, optics, psychophysics, and visual performance have been developed.
In addition, there is a strong clinical science expertise in many areas including epidemiology, ocular pathology, ocular genetics, neuro-ophthalmology, cornea, uveitis, and glaucoma.
The latest and most exciting research areas include:
- Developing an artificial cornea;
- Learning more about the genes that control regeneration of limbs and other organs in the newt;
- How to use viruses to deliver protective genes to prevent cell degeneration in the retina;
- Development of instrumentation that will give physicians new, non-invasive ways to measure the health of the eye in patients.
All of these new discoveries and technologies have been accomplished due to the collaborative efforts of both clinicians and basic researchers working closely together.
New Studies ... New Developments
New developments have been made in the creation of an artificial cornea for transplantation, which potentially can provide visually impaired or blind individuals with useful vision. Also, cell-regeneration studies are underway to discover methods of preventing or repairing ocular damage that results in loss of vision, from such diseases as glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetes.
Leading Edge Technology
The Eye Institute, from its opening, has embraced the investigation of new state-of-the-art technology as a primary focus. As a result of these studies, the Ottawa community has been able to receive the latest diagnostic tests, and be treated with new therapies for ocular inflammation and lasers for glaucoma, macular degeneration and corrective eye surgery.
Collaborative Multidisciplinary Teams
Part of the success of the research effort at the Eye Institute lies in its collaborative and multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving. Through collaboration, scientists and clinicians have developed successful research programs in a number of areas, including refractive surgery, tissue engineering, biomedical instrumentation, and ocular genetics, amongst others. Few eye care facilities around the world have been able to achieve the same level of cooperation and interaction.