James and Jean Culver Vision Discovery Institute


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Images courtesy of Mumm and Smith labs

Mission: The mission of the Culver Vision Discovery Institute is to engage in high impact research and discovery related to visual function and disease the outcome of which is expected to have far-reaching clinical applications for patients suffering from blindness and visual disorders.

Research emphasis: Leading causes of blindness worldwide include diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataract, age-related macular degeneration, and corneal disruption. Many of these diseases cause blindness and visual impairment to Americans as well. At the Augusta University, we have a number of basic scientists and clinicians who are investigating many of these devastating diseases. Members of the Culver Vision Discovery Institute include faculty members from the Augusta University Medical College of Georgia, College of Allied Health Services, Dental College of Georgia and College of Graduate Studies .

smithnussbaum_002 To achieve the mission of the Culver Vision Discovery Institute, we are committed to fostering interactions among the members of our group. We welcome MCG colleagues and members of the community to participate in Vision DIGM and Ophthalmology Grand Rounds . Currently we have two courses that are offered to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. The Fundamentals of Vision Science course that is available enhances understanding of the eye is offered in the spring and Current topics in Vision Science that offers students an opportunity to familiarize themselves with recent discoveries in vision research and ophthalmic diseases is offered in the fall. We have a Pilot Project program that supports basic science-clinical collaborations leading to larger extramural awards for vision-related diseases. We recognize that a key factor in achieving our mission will be to recruit additional individuals with specific expertise. As these positions are developed they will be posted on this website.

The Culver Vision Discovery Institute is directed by basic scientist

Dr. Sylvia Smith, Professor of Cellular Biology/Anatomy, Ophthalmology and Graduate Studies and by Dr. Julian Nussbaum, Professor and Chair, Department of Ophthalmology. If you wish to contact either co-director regarding the mission or activities of the Culver Vision Discovery Institute, you may send emails to vdi@augusta.edu or you may call the Vision Discovery Institute at 706-721-2727. The administrative duties of the Vision Discovery Institute are managed by Mr. Glenn Bedell in cooperation with Ms. Jenny Roberts, Administrative Assistant and Ms. Heide Andrews, Seminar Coordinator.