Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation
All research at L V Prasad Eye Institute is conducted through its constituent arm, the Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation (HERF), which is recognized by the Indian Government’s Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (SIRO). HERF continues to compete for and receive grants from all over the world to conduct cutting edge research on the eye. The Prof Brien Holden Eye Research Centre (BHERC) investigates the causes and treatment strategies through its various components, namely the Champalimaud Translational Centre (C-TRACER), the Jhaveri Microbiology Centre, the Saroja A Rao Immunology Laboratory, the Kallam Anji Reddy Molecular Genetics Laboratory, the Ophthalmic Pathology Laboratory, the Sudhakar and Sreekanth Ravi Stem Cell Biology Laboratory, and the clinical research laboratories. Each of these components has been named after its donor, in recognition of their generous support.
Support And Recognition
Research at HERF has concentrated on molecular genetics of inherited eye diseases, devising molecular diagnostics for early detection, microbiology of eye infections, biochemical features of cataract, and stem cell technology for reconstruction of the damaged ocular outer surface. Support for these projects have come from competitive grants received from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – all from India, as well as the National Eye Institute (NEI, National Institutes of Health), USA. Thanks to the recently formalized US – India eye research collaboration, several joint research projects have been initiated at HERF, in collaboration with researchers in the US. Likewise, HERF is one of the four pillars of the multinational research and development group called Vision CRC (operating from Sydney, Australia), and conducts research on its behalf on the genetics of myopia, as well as a series of clinical studies such as on antibacterial contact lenses and corneal onlays.
The Institute is recognized as an external research centre by the University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad; Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS), Pilani; and the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. This enables research scholars from LVPEI to register with, and obtain their Ph D degrees from these universities. Collaborative research has also been forged with national laboratories such as the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB), Centre for DNA Fingerprinting & Diagnostics (CDFD), National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), and University of Hyderabad – all in Hyderabad, and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The agreements allow researchers at LVPEI to access state-of-the-art equipment and sophisticated facilities at these centers.
LVPEI’s multidisciplinary clinical research is of international standards and is sponsored by Indian funding agencies and multinational companies from USA and France. The group conducts not only intramural clinical research, but also participates in multicentre clinical trials.
Clinical research has also focused on the suitability of using extended wear contact lenses. This involves recruitment of volunteers and monitoring comfort levels and related factors upon the use of contact lenses over a period of time. Another area of study is the efficacy, pharmacodynamics and related features of ophthalmic drugs and antibiotics. Many of the studies are conducted in collaboration with leading pharmaceutical companies.