News Release: Emory Healthcare , Research

Oct. 28,  2009

Michael Iuvone Appointed to Sylvia Montag Ferst and Frank W. Ferst Endowed Research Chair

P. Michael Iuvone, PhD, director of research for Emory Eye Center, has been appointed to the Sylvia Montag Ferst and Frank W. Ferst Endowed Research Chair. The chair was created in 1988 through a generous $3 million gift from Sylvia and Frank Ferst for the purpose of supporting research in ophthalmology.

Iuvone, a professor of pharmacology and ophthalmology, is a nationally recognized researcher in both fields. He received his bachelor of science in psychology and doctor of philosophy in neuroscience from the University of Florida. Iuvone subsequently trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Preclinical Pharmacology at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), after which he was recruited to Emory University in 1978 as an assistant professor of pharmacology. He became a tenured professor of pharmacology, holding a joint appointment in ophthalmology since 1980. He was promoted to professor of ophthalmology in 1990.

"Dr. Iuvone is a thought leader in retinal cell biology and an exemplary research scientist," says Timothy W. Olsen, director of Emory Eye Center. "He has developed a long-standing relationship with the basic research work conducted at the Emory Eye Center. Dr. Iuvone has distinguished himself nationally in circadian rhythms and cell signaling, and his talents will be put to use as he leads and helps develop a strong translational research program in our department. The entire faculty and staff of Emory Eye Center are extremely pleased that he has elected to join us in this important leadership position, and that he has been honored with the Ferst Chair."

Iuvone has published 145 articles in peer-reviewed literature and has received continuous research funding, including funding as principal investigator or co-investigator on several ROI grants through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Most recently, he was named a Fellow in the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), the premier international organization dedicated to eye and vision research at its annual meeting in 2009. luvone has served on an NIH Study Section, as well on the Fight for Sight grant review committee. He has been both an invited speaker and discussion leader at the prestigious Gordon Research Conferences. In addition, he has been an outstanding mentor and teacher, training eight graduate students and 11 postdoctoral fellows, as well as serving on the dissertation committee for an additional 33 graduate students.

Emory Eye Center has a mission to conduct pioneering research into blinding eye diseases, to educate and train eye professionals, and to provide excellent patient care. The department includes 35 ophthalmologists, eight optometrists, ten basic scientists, 11 post-doctoral fellows and nine researchers in other Emory departments who hold joint appointments in the Emory University School of medicine's Department of Ophthalmology. Ophthalmology research is supported by current NIH funding of $20 million through 2010. The department remains in the top rankings (#9 - 2009) by U.S. News & World Report for the 13 years the magazine has held a ranking for ophthalmology. It also ranks in the Top Ten in all four categories surveyed by Ophthalmology Times annual report.


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

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