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$3 million grant to fund new eye surgery technology

Bausch & Lomb, a global eye-care company, has decided to partner with Keck School of Medicine researchers led by ophthalmology professor Eugene de Juan Jr, CEO of the Doheny Retina Institute (DRI). The partnership will be marked by a $3 million, 3-year grant that will fund the development of innovative new technologies and equipment for use in ophthalmological surgery.

This ambitious collaboration will begin, said de Juan, with a focus on restructuring the overall organization of the standard operating room and operating environment, incorporating such technologies as wireless communications systems to create what de Juan called “the operating room of the future.”

USC University Hospital will contribute to the partnership through the renovation of operating rooms for use by Retina Institute surgeons.

Ronald E. Smith, the Charles S. and Hildegard Warren Chair in Vision Research and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, said that the grant will play an important role in advancing the cause of the Doheny’s scientists. “The Bausch & Lomb support of the clinical research mission of the Doheny Eye Institute and USC ophthalmology will help our innovative faculty members translate their ideas to direct patient care,” he said.

Bausch & Lomb and de Juan are no strangers to this sort of fruitful alliance. In fact, Bausch & Lomb recently brought to market a minimally invasive surgical system developed by de Juan and his colleagues at the Microsurgery Advanced Design Laboratory (MADLAB) at the DRI. Called the TSV25, or 25-gauge transconjuctival standard vitrectomy system, these miniaturized tools—about half the size of those that came before them—allow surgeons to reach a patient’s retina without cutting into the eyeball.

“I have worked with the team at Bausch & Lomb for over 10 years,” said de Juan. “I rarely have seen such a commitment by leadership and staff to improving the outcomes of people with retinal diseases. In my opinion, the people at Bausch & Lomb are responsible for the introduction of the most exciting new technologies currently in the field of vitreoretinal surgery.”

In addition to providing financial support, said de Juan, the partnership will “allow Bausch & Lomb scientists to participate in cooperative research programs at USC.”

And that sort of collaboration, he added, is critical to the scientific endeavor.

“Here at the Doheny Retina Institute and MADLAB we have greatly expanded our ability to contribute to the development of advanced technologies through partnerships with Caltech, JPL, and USC,” de Juan said. “I am very excited about the plans to accelerate our progress by working even closer with this great company.”

$3 million grant to fund new eye surgery technology

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