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NIH Designates Salk One of Seven National Basic Research Centers Focused on Vision

Tom Albright

Professor Tom Albright

A $3.8 million grant from the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health places the Salk Institute among one of seven NEI-designated centers focused exclusively on the basic research of vision, and is the first basic science facility created by the NEI in nearly a decade.

The only one of its kind in the San Diego region, the new Salk Institute Center for the Neurobiology of Vision is a consortium of 15 investigators led by Thomas Albright conducting research on the visual system. The five-year grant funds core facilities that support each of the scientists' research projects.

The new vision center will take a broad approach to understanding the development and plasticity of the visual system, the mechanisms of the neural processing of visual stimuli, and the link between visual perception and behavior.

Understanding the mechanisms that process visual inputs in the retina and the brain and how that affects behavior provides a model system for better understanding the central nervous system. Such basic studies can also one day contribute to the development of prosthetics that restores vision to the blind.