Optegra Eye Health Care, which operates 24 specialist eye hospitals and clinics, has been awarded a prestigious research grant to study dry eye.
The €2.5m (£1.75m) grant was obtained in a collaboration with academic partners from four leading European universities, including Aston University in the UK, and universities in Spain and Poland, as well as three industry partners.
The grant will be shared between the five partners and the researchers will be based in Optegra Germany, spending time at Optegra hospitals throughout the UK.
The grant is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network call.
The European Dry Eye Network (EDEN) proposal attained the second highest score (92%) of all applications received, and the consortium was awarded funding for 10 early stage researchers.
Head of Eye Sciences at Optegra, Dr Clare O’Donnell (pictured), told OT: “This prestigious award will fund novel research into dry eye. Despite dry eye disease being a highly prevalent condition that can significantly impact on quality of life, it can be difficult to diagnose and is still poorly understood.”
Dr O’Donnell added: “Dry eye disease can also impact on the reliability of pre-surgical calculations and can adversely affect outcomes after refractive and cataract surgery.”
The funding will offer 10 early stage researchers in vision sciences training in state-of-the-art approaches and techniques essential to studying dry eye disease through research, training courses and scientific exchange within and beyond the network.
Each researcher will have the opportunity to obtain a joint PhD from two academic institutions located in different EU countries.