23 May 2012
Hands across the sea to fight inflammatory eye diseases
Two of the world's most prestigious eye health research
institutions in Britain and America have joined forces to study and
combat some of the most common eye diseases. The National Institute
for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) at
Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology,
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and the
University of Bristol, has entered into a Consortium agreement with
the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the American National
Institutes of Health.
The Consortium was formally launched on 22 May during a visit
hosted by Professor Peng Tee Khaw, Director of Research and
Development, Moorfields Eye Hospital. He is also the director
of the BRC and President of the Association for Research in Vision
and Ophthalmology (ARVO).
He said: "It was a tremendous pleasure to meet our distinguished
American friends and colleagues. We are all convinced that the
Consortium agreement we have made to promote human ocular
immunology, specifically to encourage the transfer of technologies,
scholars and biomaterials for the study of uveitis, age-related
macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, will greatly enhance
our efforts to better understand and combat these common and often
devastating eye diseases."
Professor Andrew Dick, Faculty Research Director in the Faculty
of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Bristol and Theme
Lead for Inflammation and Immunotherapy at the NIHR Moorfields BRC,
said: "This Consortium truly combines transatlantic research
excellence to deliver cutting-edge advances in the fight against
inflammatory eye diseases."
Dr Richard Lee, NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Ophthalmology at
Bristol Eye Hospital and the University of Bristol and at the NIHR
Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre added: "This is an
unprecedented opportunity to bring British and American patients
Representing the US NEI were Dr Gyan Prakash, Associate Director
International Programs at the NEI and Dr Robert Nussenblatt, Chief
of the Laboratory of Immunology, NEI.
Dr Russell Hamilton, Director of Research and Development at the
UK Department of Health also welcomed the agreement. The party also
toured and inspected the state-of-the-art facilities and equipment
at the NIHR Research and Treatment Centre.
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