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January 30, 2018 - USA Researchers Targeting Preventable Blindness With Local Lions Clubs' Support

USA%20Lions%20Club%20Luncheon%2026.JPGUniversity of South Alabama College of Medicine researchers recently received financial support from local Lions Clubs that will be used to fund vision research.

The check – totaling $18,460 – was presented to USA researchers Dr. Robert Barrington and Dr. Robert Lausch at a luncheon on Jan. 25, 2018.

Dr. Barrington, president of the University Lions Club and associate professor of microbiology at the USA College of Medicine, said the luncheon was a celebration to recognize local Lions Clubs and their long-standing support for eye research at the USA College of Medicine.

The University Lions Club, a part of Lions Clubs International, is a civic organization that supports projects focusing on diabetes and vision.

Lions Club International 2nd Vice President Choi Jung-Yul attended the luncheon and toured the research facilities that house instrumentation purchased for the College of Medicine through grants from the International Lions Foundation.

“The event gave us a chance to showcase the impact a charitable organization has made on eye research here at the USA College of Medicine,” Dr. Barrington said.

Dr. Barrington’s lab studies infectious blindness caused by herpes virus, which is the leading cause of infectious blindness in the developed world. “These funds provided by the Lions Clubs will help us develop better therapeutic means to prevent blindness.”

District Lions Clubs have supported eye research since 1991 when the USA Lions Eye Research Institute was established.

Since its inception, the USA Lions Eye Research Institute has received more than $350,000. In addition to the annual donations, local Lions Clubs have also supported matching grants through the Lions Clubs International for the purchase of state-of-the-art instrumentation, such as an Olympus fluorescent microscope with an imaging system.

“The financial support the Lions Clubs provide is key for our mission, which is twofold – to conduct high quality vision research and to train the future of vision scientists,” Dr. Barrington said. “We’ve used those funds not only to purchase necessary equipment, but also to support graduate student trainees that work in eye research.”

Click here to view more photos from the event.

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