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. At 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.


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 The Vision Discovery Institute Distinguished Seminar Series and Ophthalmology Grand Rounds. Currently we have courses for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows including Fundamentals of Vision Science and Current topics in Vision Science. 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 retinal cell biologist, Dr. Sylvia Smith, Regents’ Professor and Chair of the Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy at the Medical College of Georgia. If you wish to contact her 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 706-721-3731. The administrative duties of the Vision Discovery Institute are managed by Ms. Heide Andrews and Ms. Jenny Roberts.


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