UT Hamilton Eye Institute Team Awarded NIH Grant

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Edward Chaum, MD, PhD, recently was awarded a $1.62 million National Eye Institute grant to develop computer-based methods for diagnosing blinding eye diseases.

Edward Chaum, MD, PhD, recently was awarded a $1.62 million National Eye Institute grant to develop computer-based methods for diagnosing blinding eye diseases.

The project is a three-year collaborative research program among Dr. Chaum of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) Hamilton Eye Institute, Ken Tobin Jr., PhD, of the Image Science and Machine Vision Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Karen Fox, PhD, interim vice chancellor of community affairs. The research will investigate the feasibility of computer-based imaging to automate broad-based population screening for diabetic retinopathy.

“The potential of digital technologies is clear, and new computer-based image analysis systems hold the promise of producing low-cost, potentially automated diagnosis of eye disease,” said Dr. Chaum, Plough Foundation Professor of Retinal Diseases, and associate professor of ophthalmology, pediatrics, anatomy and neurobiology and biomedical engineering at UTHSC.

“We have brought together a unique team to design the image analysis algorithms, develop the analytical tools, and perform the necessary clinical trials to reach these goals,” Dr. Chaum noted. A specialist in vitreoretinal medicine and surgery, Dr. Chaum is the recipient of numerous grants from agencies including the National Institutes of Health, The U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Fight for Sight, as well as private industry. In 1998, he received a Research Career Award from the National Eye Institute.

Earning a PhD in cell biology and genetics from Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and an MD from Cornell University Medical College, he received his fellowship training in vitreoretinal medicine and surgery at The Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, in Boston.