Kazuya Oikawa, BVSc, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the McLellan Laboratory, has been awarded the Knights Templar Eye Foundation Career Starter Grant. The $70,000 award will support Dr. Oikawa’s research project “Neuroinflammation in Pediatric Glaucoma.”
Primary congenital glaucoma is an eye disease that affects babies and young children. In this severe form of glaucoma, increased pressure inside the eye–intraocular pressure or IOP–damages the visual sensing structures in the back of the eye and can ultimately lead to permanent blindness. However, the underlying mechanisms by which high IOP leads to vision loss in patients with glaucoma are not fully understood. By leveraging cutting-edge single cell techniques, the funded project will dissect the mechanism how high IOP changes immune cell activation in the developing and adult visual system in glaucoma. Dr. Oikawa’s research will help identify potential new targets for the development of effective treatments specifically tailored for pediatric glaucoma.
The Knights Templar Eye Foundation is committed to supporting research that can help launch the careers of clinical and basic researchers focused on the prevention and cure of potentially blinding diseases in infants and children.