McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Matthew A. Smith, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh, and director, Visual Neuroscience Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, has been named to receive the Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) Career Development Award. This award helps recruit young MDs and/or PhDs to eye research and support promising junior ophthalmology faculty. For Dr. Smith, this is a very exciting achievement, representing strong support for his work over the next 4 years.
Through the RPB Award, Dr. Smith hopes to develop a basic understanding of how the visual brain works in order to help treat issues with visual dysfunction caused by traumatic brain injury or changes in parts of our brain responsible for vision. Additionally, through this research, Dr. Smith aims to help lay the groundwork for the development of visual prosthetic devices in the future. To achieve these goals, Dr. Smith is using his extensive knowledge and experience with the visual system of primates to collect data from studies utilizing chronically implanted arrays of electrodes on the visual cortex of macaque monkeys, and studying the relationship between eye movements and visual attention.
The RPB Career Development Award Fund was established in 1990 to attract young physicians and basic research scientists to eye research. To date, the program has recruited 160 vision scientists to research positions in departments of ophthalmology at universities across the country. RPB is the world’s leading voluntary organization supporting eye research. Since it was founded in 1960, RPB has channeled hundreds of millions of dollars to medical institutions for research into the causes treatment and prevention of blinding eye disease.
Research to Prevent Blindness Individual Grants
Louis J. Fox Center for Vision Restoration: Meet Matt Smith, PhD