UA Ophthalmology Researcher Receives Career Development Award from Research to Prevent Blindness

Cell biologist Lihua Marmorstein, PhD, is the recipient of a $200,000 Career Development Award.

UA Ophthalmology Researcher Receives Career Development Award from Research to Prevent Blindness

Cell biologist Lihua Marmorstein, PhD, a member of the Southwest Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) Research Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology in Tucson, is the recipient of a $200,000 Career Development Award from Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB), the world's leading voluntary organization supporting eye research. Dr. Marmorstein also is an assistant professor in the UA Department of Ophthalmology and Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy.
The award, which will be distributed over a four-year period that began Jan. 1, will support her research into the causes of ARMD. Her work for the first time links defective proteins and the translation of genetic information to the development of ARMD. She also is developing new animal models for studying the cause of ARMD and testing prevention and treatment strategies. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Marmorstein was nominated for the award last year by Robert W. Snyder, MD, PhD, professor and head, UA Department of Ophthalmology. "Lihua's research is extremely valuable in studying the development of macular degeneration and developing and testing treatment strategies," says Dr. Snyder. "She has developed a unique approach to study a genetic varient of ARMD. Her approach opens the door to developing tools and techniques for early diagnosis and prevention trials as well as testing of treatment strategies."

This is the department's third RPB Career Development Award. James T. Schwiegerling, PhD, assistant professor, and W. Daniel Stamer, PhD, associate professor, also received the award in 2002 and 2001, respectively. RPB established the award in 1990 to attract young physicians and basic scientists to eye research positions in departments of ophthalmology at universities across the country.


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The Southwest Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) Research Program, established in September 2000 by the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, is dedicated to retinal disease, specifically the elimination of ARMD. Program goals include developing better surgical and nonsurgical treatments for ARMD, understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of ARMD, and bringing new ideas into ARMD research through collaborations with UA colleagues. For more information about ARMD, contact the UA Department of Ophthalmology, (520)322-3800, or visit the website, http://www.eyes.arizona.edu/brochure.htm  For information about how you can help further this important research, contact Gloria Flett-Lemon, University of Arizona Health Sciences Development Office, (520) 626-1530.