Research

Research

UVA Department of Ophthalmology overview of current Research projects

Research Laboratory

The Ophthalmology Research Laboratory is run by Paul A. Yates, M.D., Ph.D and focuses on both translational and basic research into the development and regulation of retinal blood vessel growth which leads to many eye diseases such as retinopathy of prematurity, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. We are interested in creating new approaches for treatment of these blinding diseases.

Current projects are investigating stem cell therapies for retinal disease, the role of ephrins in blood vessel growth, and creating novel light activated drugs for treatment of retinopathy of prematurity and macular degeneration. Basic research in the lab is also examining the molecules that control vascular branching, as this is a key step in the progression of abnormal blood vessel growth which causes many retinal diseases. This research involves multiple collaborations with the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia which has world renowned expertise in microvascular development.

Research is also ongoing on the growth, patterning, and branching of retinal ganglion cell neurons which connect the eye to the brain. Many of the same molecules that contribute to retinal blood vessel growth also similarly control retinal neuronal growth and we hope to identify common mechanisms between the two systems. Our hope is that understanding this process will one day permit successful eye transplantation.

Research Projects

The University Of Virginia Department Of Ophthalmology is actively involved in many sponsored clinical trials to test new ophthalmic procedures and treatments. Additionally, many of the faculty members conduct their own research to investigate new treatment options for ophthalmic diseases and conditions. In recent years, the department has participated in clinical trials investigating new treatments for wet age-related macular degeneration, macula edema following central or branch retinal vein occlusions, and glaucoma trabeculectomy. In the Fall of 2007, the department redesigned the Garrette Lab to be used as a separate, more accommodating area to conduct all clinical research.  

Ongoing Clinical Trials

The Department of Ophthalmology is committed to participating in clinical research to ensure our patients have access to the newest treatment options. We are currently participating and enrolling patients in clinical trials for age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and pseudotumor cerebri.

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Age Related Macular Degeneration Studies

IRB-HSR # 15723

IRB-HSR # 15723: A phase 2, multi-centre, randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study to investigate the safety, tolerability, efficacy, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of GSK933776 in adult patients with geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

The purpose of this 27 month research study is to evaluate the safety of an investigational study drug, called GSK933776 in participates with geographic atrophy secondary to dry age-related macular degeneration.

You may qualify for this study if you:

  1. Are at least 55 years of age
  2. Have geographic atrophy secondary to dry AMD in the study eye
  3. Visual acuity better than 20/200 in the study eye
  4. No history of wet AMD in either eye

 

What is involved?

After completing a screening and observation period, eligible participants will be randomized (like the flip of a coin) to one of three study drug groups (2 groups receive the study drug and 1 group receives the placebo). All participants will receive 18 intravenous infusions (once per month for 18 consecutive months) of their assigned study drug group.

For more information about this study please contact the Study Coordinator, Ashton Leone, at (434) 243-5737 or aml7q@virginia.edu or visit: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT1342926?term=gsk+geographic+atrophy&rank=1

The principal investigator is Paul A. Yates, M.D., Ph.D
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IRB-HSR # 16586

IRB-HSR # 16586: A Randomized, Double Masked, Placebo Controlled Study Evaluating ORACEA® in Subjects with Geographic Atrophy Secondary to Non-Exudative Age-Related Macular Degeneration

The purpose of this 31 month study is to test the safety and effectiveness of an investigational drug called ORACEA® (40mg doxycycline), to determine if it can slow the progression of geographic atrophy secondary to non-exudative (“dry”) age-related macular degeneration. 

You may qualify for this study if you:

  1. Are between 55 – 85 years of age.
  2. Have geographic atrophy secondary to dry AMD in at least one eye
  3. Your visual acuity is between 20/20 – 20/400 in the study eye
  4. Do NOT have a history of or active wet AMD in the study eye
  5. Do NOT have a history of or active wet AMD in the non-study eye that has needed treatment within 12 months of starting the study

 

What is involved?

After completing a screening and 6-month observation period, eligible participants will be randomized (like the flip of a coin) to one of two study drug groups (1 group receives the study drug and 1 group receives a placebo).  No matter what group you are assigned, you will take one capsule of the study drug every morning.  You will do this every day for 24 months.

For more information about this study please contact the Study Coordinator, Ashton Leone, at (434) 243-5737 or aml7q@virginia.edu or visit:

http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01782989?term=doxycycline+macular&rank=1

The principal investigator is Paul Yates, MD, PhD.

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Thyroid Eye Disease Study

IRB-HSR # 17065

IRB-HSR # 17065: A Multicenter, Double-masked, Placebo-controlled, efficacy and safety study of RV 001, an insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-IR) antagonist antibody (fully human, administered every 3 weeks (Q3W) by intravenous IV) infusion in patients suffering from active thyroid eye disease (TED).  

The purpose of this 18 month study is to test the safety and effectiveness of an investigational drug called RV 001 in adults diagnosed with thyroid eye disease (TED). 

You may qualify for this study if you:

  1. Are between 18-75 years of age.
  2. Have been diagnosed with thyroid eye disease less than 9 months ago.
  3. Have not had previous medical or surgical therapy for thyroid eye disease.

 

What is involved?

After completing a screening visit, eligible participants will be randomized (like the flip of a coin) to one of two study drug groups (1 group receives the study drug and 1 group receives a placebo).  No matter what group you are assigned, you will receive intravenous infusions of the study drug every 3 weeks for 24 weeks. 

For more information about this study please contact the Study Coordinator, Ashton Leone, at (434) 243-5737 or aml7q@virginia.edu or visit: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01868997?term=thyroid+eye+disease&rank=5

The principal investigator is Steven Newman, MD.