Professor Eldon E. Geisert Receives $1 Million Grant for Eye Blast Injury Treatment Research
Memphis, Tenn. (September 12, 2012) – Improvised explosive devices have devastated the lives of many soldiers in combat. Damage to their eyes caused by
blast injuries may sometimes be made worse when they have specific types of genes. With the use of a $1 million grant from the U.S. Army Medical
Research Acquisition Activity, Eldon Geisert, PhD, professor in the Departments of Ophthalmology, and Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of
Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), will try to pinpoint these genetic markers. Dr. Geisert is conducting a study, “Genetic Networks Activated By
Blast Injury to the Eye,” that he and other researchers believe may lead to better treatment for injured soldiers.
In an effort to understand these types of injuries, develop ways to monitor their severity, and treat the effects of the injuries, Dr. Geisert is
developing new research strategies that he hopes will translate into treatments. The new treatments may be used on the battlefield and later in the
“Our work will lead to understanding the effects of blast injuries on the eye and should lead to novel diagnostics and therapies,” said Dr. Geisert.
“Helping those injured in the defense of our country is a true privilege.”
The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity
is the contracting element of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and provides support to the Command headquarters and its worldwide
network of laboratories and medical logistics organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.usamraa.army.mil/index.cfm.
As the flagship statewide academic health system, the mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is to bring
the benefits of the health sciences to the achievement and maintenance of human health, with a focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region, by
pursuing an integrated program of education, research, clinical care, and public service. In 2011, UT Health Science Center celebrated its centennial:
100 years advancing the future of health care. Offering a broad range of postgraduate training opportunities, the main UTHSC campus is located in
Memphis and includes six colleges: Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The UTHSC campus in
Knoxville includes a College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, and an Allied Health Sciences unit. In addition, the UTHSC Chattanooga campus includes a
College of Medicine and an Allied Health Sciences unit. Since its founding in 1911, UTHSC has educated and trained more than 53,000 health care
professionals on campuses and in health care facilities across the state. For more information, visit www.uthsc.edu.
From left: Eldon Geisert, PhD, in a UT Health Science Center lab with technician Steven Hart and colleague XiangDi Wang, MD, PhD.