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Ellen and Sean Refbord brought their daughter Violet, 2, to Indianapolis for treatment at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

At First Glance

When Violet Refbord was born, glaucoma threatened to steal her vision. Her parents turned to pediatric ophthalmologists at Indiana University School of Medicine, where the latest advances in training and research have saved eyesight for five decades.

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Department awarded RPB grant

The Indiana University School of Medicine has been granted a Challenge Grant by Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) in the amount of $75,000 a year for four years to support eye research conducted by the Department of Ophthalmology.

This funding has been awarded based on a thorough review of criteria, including the department's research activities, laboratory environment, and clinical and scientific staff, as evaluated by RPB's renowned Scientific Advisory Panel. RPB Challenge Grants encourage growth for emerging eye research programs and recently appointed department chairs. The funds will be deployed at the discretion of the department chair, to provide opportunities for creative planning and research program development that go beyond the scope of restricted project grants.

Indiana University School of Medicine holds one of five RPB Challenge Grants nationwide.

Since it was founded in 1960, RPB has channeled more than $387 million into eye research. As a result, RPB has been identified with nearly every major breakthrough in vision research in that time. For information on RPB's grants program, listings of RPB institutional and individual grantees, and findings generated by these awards, go to

The Challenge Grant has allowed the department to offer two $20,000 grants in 2021, and the recipients are:

Dr. Weiming Mao, for his project "The role of distal aqueous humor outflow tissue in glucocorticoid-induced glaucoma"

Drs. Arupratan Das and Padmanabhan Pattabiraman, for their project "Development of glaucoma neuroprotection therapy using stem cells and ex-vivo models”

MedEd Matters

First class of interns welcomed as ophthalmology residency integrates

The Department of Ophthalmology at IU School of Medicine welcomed its inaugural class of first-year residents in July 2021 after transitioning to become an integrated residency program.

Caitlin VanOverberghe  |  Aug 09, 2021


Giving back: One alum’s generosity means future ophthalmology professorship

Arthur Willis, MD, values the education he received at the IU School of Medicine. He graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington in 1962 and immediately enrolled at IU School of Medicine. Without the experience he gained while training at IU, Willis said he wouldn’t have been the well-rounded, quick-thinking ophthalmologist he was throughout his career.

Caitlin VanOverberghe  |  Oct 18, 2021

Staffer earns recognition

Mallory Mack, who serves as the Ophthalmology Residency Coordinator, was one of three IU School of Medicine staffers to earn the 2021 Lynn Wakefield Unsung Hero Award. IU School of Medicine sponsors this award to recognize staff employees who demonstrate outstanding reliability in the execution of duties without expectation of recognition. This award encourages and reinforces the IU School of Medicine core values of cooperation and excellence.

Tim Corson, PhD, works with medical students doing research in the lab.

Research Updates

NIH grant will help attract students to ophthalmology research

A grant from the National Institutes of Health aims to attract more medical students to participate in eye research.

Caitlin VanOverberghe  |  May 19, 2020

Researchers in the Glick Eye Institute transfer materials into a glass tube.

Faculty News

NIH funding expands collaboration on ocular neovascularization

Neovascularization is the root cause of a range of sight-stealing eye diseases. Researchers Timothy W. Corson, PhD, and Mark R. Kelley, PhD, are targeting Redox effector factor-1 (Ref-1) as a signaling node for treating blood vessel growth in the eyes.

Caitlin VanOverberghe  |  Aug 05, 2020