Geisert Receives $1 Million Grant for Blast Injury Treatment Research

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Professor Eldon E. Geisert Receives $1 Million Grant for Eye Blast Injury Treatment Research

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 hospital.

“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.

From left: Eldon Geisert, PhD, in a UT Health Science Center lab with technician Steven Hart and colleague XiangDi Wang, MD, PhD.