News Releases

February 27, 2013

Media contact: Joy Bell, 404-778-3711

Emory Eye Center recipient of Knights Templar Award

(ATLANTA) The Emory Eye Center was recently awarded $32,000 by the Georgia Knights Templar Educational Foundation, Inc. The funding will be used to continue important educational and research opportunities that impact the entire state of Georgia. Over the past several years, the Georgia Knights Templar has awarded $750,000 to the Emory Eye Center.

Included in the 2013 awards are the following:

  • Support for the Georgia Knights Templar Lectures in Pediatric Ophthalmology ($3,000) for two future Pediatric Ophthalmology speakers. This year's Knights Templar speakers are Graham E. Quinn, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who presented "World Wide Efforts to Prevent ROP Blindness" on January 11, and Ken Nischal, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, who will present "Surgical Techniques for Pediatric Cataract Surgery" on March 22.

  • The Learning Resources Center ($6,000) received funding to support on-line education and digital management of the Calhoun Auditorium, Emory Eye Center's lecture hall, during Grand Rounds, the Vision Science Seminar Series, and other key educational events (e.g., SEOP: Southeastern Oncology and Pathology and SEVR: Southeastern Vitreoretinal Seminar). The state-of-the-art digital education center will continue to play a key role in the Eye Center's educational mission.

  • Keratoconus Study: Pediatric ophthalmologist Phoebe Lenhart and cornea specialist Bhairavi Dholakia have received $20,000 to study keratoconus (KCN) in young people with Trisomy 21, who have a higher prevalence of this disease, with the intent of preventing progression of KCN.

    KCN weakens the cornea, causing visual compromise. Treatment in the past has included special contact lenses or corneal transplant. Today, collagen crosslinking (CXL), a minimally invasive method of arresting the progression of this disease, is revolutionizing the treatment of keratoconus in adults and is most effective in early stages of KCN. However, early stages when treatment may be most helpful often go undetected because the patient does not have symptoms or cannot articulate them. F

    Funding will provide for early imaging (corneal topographies) to detect KCN. Early detection may enable future CXL treatment in this pediatric population with early keratoconus. Goals are to stabilize the cornea, halt the progression of KCN, and lower the risk of needing a more invasive, less predictable, and more expensive corneal transplant.

  • Continued support for Molecular Vision ($3,000) The online journal continues to gain reputation and impact within all of the published scientific literature, particularly in vision research. It is the standard for "open-source" publishing (free to all users on the web). Molecular Vision has an ongoing international support and collaboration between Emory and Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China. More than 350 publications have been released this year. The current impact factor for this journal continues to increase, and Molecular Vision is the second most powerful journal in its class.

"The Knights Templar of Georgia has been a true partner in helping us to serve our primary mission to 'Help people to see as well as they can see,'" says Timothy W. Olsen, director of Emory Eye Center. "This support has come from many years of careful collaboration and common interests in supporting the needs of the Georgia vision community. We are honored that the Knights Templar feels that our mission, as well as those of our vision partners at the Medical College of Georgia, are worthy of their continued support."

Knights Templar Eye Foundation

The Knights Templar Eye Foundation was formed in 1956 to provide assistance to those who face loss of sight and to aid ophthalmology research. It is sponsored by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar.

Emory Eye Center

Emory Eye Center has a mission to conduct pioneering research into blinding eye diseases, to educate and train eye professionals, and to provide excellent patient care.


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