Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) has awarded an Unrestricted Grant of $110,000 to the Department of Ophthalmology at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University.
Zahra Motahari, a PhD Student in the lab of Dr. Michael Zuber won the Members-in-Training Outstanding Poster Award at the 2014 ARVO meeting in Orlando, FL.
Reyna I. Martinez-De Luna, PhD, working in the lab of Michael E. Zuber, PhD, has been awarded a Grass Foundation Fellowship.
William J. Brunken, PhD, Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Director of the Center for Vision Research, has been named to serve on the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology's Research Director's Council.

What the Center for Vision Research is doing


At the Center for Vision Research, one focus of our work is to learn all we can about the genes required for normal eye formation and how these genes change to cause birth defects that affect sight. 


Dr. Francesca Pignoni and Dr. Michael Zuber have spent much of their careers looking at early eye formation through genetic studies in two different model systems, the fly (Drosophila melanogaster) and the frog (Xenopus laevis).   


It is amazing how the genetic material in such very different species can be so alike. In fact, many of the same genes that control normal eye formation in fly or frog are also required for the development of the human eye. Because of similarities discovered by the research teams of Dr. Pignoni and Dr. Zuber, groundbreaking information relevant to the prevention and treatment of congenital eye disease is rapidly being developed.


Today, the laboratories of Dr. Pignoni and Dr. Zuber study genes that are altered in patients whose eye are malformed (aniridia, Peters anomaly, coloboma, congenital cataracts), smaller (microphthalmia) or even absent (anophthalmia). By studying the genetic mechanisms at work during eye formation, researchers in these CVR Labs are gaining vital knowledge about how to treat blinding diseases and eye injury later in life, and they are beginning to understand how life-altering visual defects may one day be prevented.  With continued education and research, answers may be just around the corner.  



Why Research is Important?

Research on the genetic causes of birth defects in the visual system provides information that is essential to understanding how mutant genes cause these abnormalities and diseases.  This important work is contributing critical knowledge, necessary to develop gene therapies that have the potential to treat or even prevent eye diseases in the future.




Birth Defects of the Eye may result in:

  • Partial or total blindness



What are Birth Defects of the Eye?

Learning your child has a birth defect is devastating news.  more





Contact Carol Miller with questions about the content of this page.

All contents copyright © 1997-2021 Center for Vision Research, Syracuse, NY