The primary focus of UMKC School of Medicine's Vision Research Center is translational research, i.e. to turn new fundamental discoveries in basic research into practical tools for the treatment and prevention of eye diseases.
Institutional Uniqueness: UMKC is one of fewer than 30 research universities in the U.S. to have Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Nursing all on the same campus. The diverse capabilities of researchers from these different academic units have facilitated the development of multidisciplinary research centers, including the Vision Research Center and others. The Vision Research Center brings clinicians and scientists together with the primary purpose of bridging the gaps between basic science, drug discovery, bioengineering, clinical research and clinical care for the prevention and treatment of eye diseases.
The UMKC School of Medicine's Vision Research Center's goal is to accelerate new discoveries and convert these discoveries into therapies serving those afflicted with these eye diseases. The Vision Research Center leverages existing resources and established extramurally funded programs in three key areas of research:
- discovery of novel basic science mechanisms that underlie the function of the normal and diseased visual system and that generate the urgently needed rationale for novel innovate high-impact therapies
- development of novel therapies and drugs through translational research resulting from extramural support by the National Institutes of Health and other agencies supporting eye research, from collaborations with companies targeting eye diseases and from formal collaborations with the life science community in the Kansas City area
- Development of novel diagnostic strategies and their incorporation in state-of-the-art clinical research building on the VRC’s national leadership status in these areas and fast-tracking outcomes-validated new medicines and therapies.
The UMKC School of Medicine's Vision Research Center brings together basic science and clinical investigators in a clinical and scientific undertaking to advance translational research and personalized medicine by empowering creative and energetic scientists and clinicians from several institutions and departments. They work together to build integrated research programs in eye research, to generate new knowledge about pathogenesis and treatment of visual disorders, and to translate these findings into pioneering initiatives in the study and treatment of eye diseases and injury.
The UMKC School of Medicine's Vision Research Center, a well-established collaboration among several UMKC schools and Kansas City Medical Centers, targets one goal with its interdisciplinary synergy: to better diagnose, prevent, and treat eye diseases and to make a difference in the lives of tens of millions of people through translational research and comprehensive patient care. The center’s nationally recognized excellence in research, patient care and medical education contribute to UMKC’s strengths in the life sciences.
- UMKC clinical trials
- RPB funding of individual PI’s
- Expansion of NIH funding (collaboration with UMKC SoP, MU)
- NSF funding (collaboration with SBS)
- DoD funding (collaboration with MU, UMKC Shock & Trauma Ctr)
- New hires (joint hires / joint appointments; SoP, SCE)
- Leveraging success in philanthropy
- Existing partnerships with private companies at multiple levels private practice, clinical research, instrument development, diagnostics development and drug development.
- Active collaborations and contractual agreements with companies in the pharmaceutical industry, the optics, electronics and nanotechnology fields
- Proven track record of intellectual property development and marketing of products (with companies in TX, CO, OR, WA, CA); IP development activity 2010-2012: 38 IP disclosures filed through UMKC's Technology Transfer Office; 6 Industry collaborations initiated through UMKC's Technology Transfer Office: 6, one NIH funded (SBIR); 3 provisional patent applications filed with USPTO
- History of over $44 million in NIH and other extramural funding for basic and translational research
- No comparable initiatives in the eye and vision research field in the region
- Generation of high-end high-skill level jobs
Peter Koulen, Ph.D., Professor, Felix and Carmen Sabates Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research
Director of Basic Research, Vision Research Center, Department of Ophthalmology
University of Missouri - Kansas City, School of Medicine
P: 816-404-1824 | F: 816-404-1825 | e-mail: email@example.com