Vanderbilt Eye Institute has maintained the rank of #4 in the 2022 annual Blue Ridge Institute calculation of vision research funding. For the second year in a row, our NIH dollars exceeded $14 million.

Photograph of Dr. Calkins

Welcome to the Vanderbilt Eye Institute research enterprise. Whether you are a patient, colleague, or trainee, we appreciate your interest in our work. Our research focuses on translational science: work that directly relates either to patient care or to developing new treatments for eye disease and injury. Our laboratory scientists work closely with clinicians to seek a better fundamental understanding of the eye in health and disease. Our patients too are part of the team, providing an extensive resource for clinical studies that often provide the driving force for new experimental investigations.

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center is ranked among the nation’s highest for funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Like other institutes and centers at Vanderbilt, the Vanderbilt Eye Institute is supported substantially by extramural funding. We are perpetually ranked among the top five programs in the country for NIH grants. We also offer a wide range of research training opportunities by participating fully in Vanderbilt’s biomedical education programs for pre- and post-doctoral fellows, medical residents, and specialty fellowships. Our faculty collaborate extensively with a variety of basic science departments and programs, including biomedical engineering, neuroscience, pharmacology, cell biology, psychology and genetics. This breadth reflects the diverse approaches we are taking to understanding vision in health and disease.

The Vanderbilt Eye Institute is contributing important and newsworthy findings in the areas of glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of premature, ocular injury and trauma, and ocular cancers. We utilize a breadth of approaches, including neuroprotection and regeneration, innovative surgical techniques, diagnostic imaging, and of course genetics. Our research teams are helping to define the cutting edge of translational science to preserve vision. Please take a minute to explore the people and projects that define research at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute.

David J. Calkins, Ph.D.
Vice-Chairman and Director for Research, The Vanderbilt Eye Institute
Vice President for Research, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Director, Vanderbilt Vision Research Center
Denis M. O'Day Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences