UTHSC Prof. Ryan Yates Receives $15,000 Grant Award from UT Research Foundation

Dr. Ryan Yates
Dr. Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates, PharmD, PhD, professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), is the recipient of a $15,000 award from the University of Tennessee Research Foundation. The award will support a project titled, “Pre-clinical ADMET of JP-153: A Treatment for Retinal Neovascularization.”

Diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are the leading causes of blindness. While one affects primarily working-age adults and the other aging adults, both contribute to the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the retina, causing bleeding and scar formation. Current treatments for the condition require the monthly injection of drugs directly into the eye. Unfortunately, many patients do not benefit from these treatments.

Dr. Yates and his collaborator, Duane Miller, PhD, department chair, associate dean and Harriet Van Vleet Professor in Pharmaceutical Sciences, have identified a new type of drug that blocks the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the eye, and which shows promise in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy and AMD. Importantly, the drug can be applied to the eye as an eye drop, without requiring injection. Such a topical treatment, if shown to be effective, will revolutionize the treatment and management of these conditions. Drs. Miller and Yates have partnered with Edward Chaum, MD, PhD, UT Plough Foundation Professor and retina specialist, to advance the understanding, clinical, and commercial development of this breakthrough drug for the treatment of blinding eye diseases.

The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) helps inventors at UT turn their ideas and discoveries into products and services that benefit society. In addition to supporting the university research enterprise and commercializing the resulting inventions, UTRF also supports entrepreneurship as well as state and regional economic development efforts. UTRF serves all seven of the UT campuses and institutes across the state. For more information, visit http://utrf.tennessee.edu.