News Releases

May 23, 2007

Emory Eye Center Researcher Tapped as Trustee to Prestigious Research Organization

( ATLANTA) At the recent meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) held May 6-10 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Emory Eye Center researcher Jeffrey H. Boatright, PhD, was elected as trustee for the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Section. During his five-year term he will serve along with 13 other trustees who manage the affairs of ARVO. Trustees are elected from candidates put forth by the Association’s 13 Scientific Sections. The Association is the premier professional society in Dr. Boatright’s field.

ARVO’s mission is to encourage and assist research, training, publication, and dissemination of knowledge in vision and ophthalmology, according to its bylaws. It was founded in 1928 in Washington, DC by 73 ophthalmologists. ARVO was originally named the Association for Research in Ophthalmology (ARO), but the word "vision" was added in 1970 to better reflect the scientific profile of its members.

The Association's membership is comprised of more than 11,500 individuals. Some 42% of members reside in over 70 countries outside the United States. The membership is multi-disciplinary and consists of both clinical and basic researchers.

“We are so pleased that the impressive work of Jeff Boatright has been acknowledged by ARVO,” says Thomas M. Aaberg, Sr., MD, director of Emory Eye Center. “This honor is a testament not only to his high standing in the research community but also to his body of work.”

“It was a great honor to be nominated and then elected by my peers to this position of responsibility,” says Dr. Boatright. “The vision research community is very fortunate that ARVO is so dynamic and healthy, a result of decades of strong and thoughtful leadership. I hope to continue in that tradition.”

Dr. Boatright joined Emory Eye Center in 1999. He currently serves as Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology, where he uses molecular and cellular biology techniques to study endogenous DNA repair mechanisms with the goal of harnessing such mechanisms to repair genomic DNA mutations that lead to blindness. An R01 grant from The National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports this work.

An R01 grant from The National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports this work.

In a second major project, Dr. Boatright uses in vivo pharmacological approaches to explore the effects of hydrophilic bile acids and other atypical, endogenous compounds on animal models of retinal degeneration and glaucoma. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM, NIH), a Veterans Administration (VA) Merit Award, and a Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) project grant fund this work.

In a third project, Dr. Boatright and colleagues are exploring new ways to deliver therapeutic compounds to the retina and other posterior eye structures. This work is supported by an NEI R24 Multicenter Grant.

Dr. Boatright is founding and current editor-in-chief of Molecular Vision, a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the dissemination of research results in molecular biology, cell biology, and the genetics of the visual system. The journal ranks second in a field of 14 competing journals and is routinely used as an Open Access exemplar by the National Library of Medicine and The National Institutes of Health Library. The journal has won numerous awards and is supported by Knights Templar funding and through initiatives generated in the Department of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Boatright is a Principle Investigator (PI) for an NEI R01 grant, Director of a research award from FFB, module co-Director for an NEI Core Grant, co-PI for a VA Merit Award, module co-Director for an NEI R24 Multicenter Grant, and recipient of numerous other grants and awards. He chairs or serves on several departmental, institutional, and professional society committees, and serves on NIH grant review committees. He is an active member of the Board of the Georgia affiliate of the FFB.

Dr. Boatright is a graduate of Brown University (ScB in Neural Sciences and Experimental Psychology) and Emory University (PhD in Pharmacology and the Neurosciences Training Program). He completed his post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. John M. Nickerson at Emory Eye Center and was supported by an NEI F32 National Research Service Award. His initial independent research was in photoreceptor-specific gene regulation, a project supported by an NEI R01, for which he served as PI, and by an FFB center grant.

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