UofL researcher wins grant from Research to Prevent Blindness


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Qiutang Li, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and the Kentucky Lions Eye Center at the University of Louisville, has received the Ernest & Elizabeth Althouse Scholar Award in the amount of $75,000 from Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) to support research into the causes, treatment and prevention of blinding diseases. The award is part of RPB’s Special Scholar Program to support outstanding young scientists who conduct research of significance and promise.

    Li’s research focuses on the genes that regulate epithelial cells in the cornea, those cells that are found on the surface of the cornea, and the genetic signaling that occurs in corneal epithelium development and wound healing.

    “Dr. Li is an outstanding molecular geneticist who has made novel observations regarding the genes that regulate epithelial cell differentiation and proliferation,” Henry Kaplan, M.D., chair and professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, said. “The studies to be supported by Research to Prevent Blindness will provide us with new information concerning the regulation and control of corneal epithelial wound healing which will be of great benefit to the preservation of vision in patients with corneal disease.”

    For decades, UofL’s Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and the Kentucky Lions Eye Center have been at the forefront of research, clinical care and the education of the next generation of leaders in the field. The Kentucky Lions Eye Center is a multi-specialty ophthalmologic care center offering enrollment in clinical trials and the latest treatment options for diseases and conditions including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, strabismus, low vision, dry eye syndrome and many others. The department’s LASIK and refractive surgery program is one of the most comprehensive in the region. For information, visit www.louisvilleeyecare.com.

    RPB is the world’s leading voluntary organization supporting eye research. Since it was founded in 1960, RBP has channeled hundreds of millions of dollars to medical institutions throughout the United States for research into all blinding eye diseases. For information on RPB, RPB-funded research, eye disorders and the RPB Grants Program, go to www.rbpusa.org.

    Jill Scoggins is Director of Communications at UofL's Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. She has been at UofL since 2010.