News Release: Emory Healthcare , School of Medicine

Sep. 30,  2011

Emory Eye Center Researcher Co-editor of New Textbook on Drug Delivery to the Back of the Eye

ATLANTA - A new textbook,Drug Product Development for the Back of the Eye (aapspress/Springer), edited by Emory Eye Center researcher Henry F. Edelhauser,  PhD, and Uday B. Kompella, PhD, of the University of Colorado, explores approaches for a delivery system to get drugs to the back of the eye. In the past, drug delivery was typically systemic and not targeted to where it might do the most good for the particular ophthalmic disease and disorder.  

The book explores tissue isolation, drug analysis, non-invasive approaches to drug delivery and nontechnology-based products, such as microneedles. Additionally, it offers approaches to assess and model pharmacokinetics of the eye noninvasively, as well as coverage of transscleral (across the white of the eye) drug delivery.  

In 2006 Edelhauser and other co-principal investigators received a five-year grant for $6M, only the third R-24 grant awarded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the NIH, at that time. The research involved drug delivery to the posterior segment of the eye. The goal was to find an alternative to intravitreal (within the eye) injections, focusing on a transcleral approach.  Principal methods up to that point to deliver medicine into the eye included eye drops, systemic (oral medicine) processes or injections. Disadvantages to these methods included drug dilution, systemic side effects and injection-associated risks. Tissue-specific transport of the drug could more safely and efficiently deliver the drugs to the retina, for example.  

“This book represents a number of research areas where new drug delivery systems can be developed for the therapeutic treatment of retinal diseases,” says Dr. Edelhauser.  

“Dr. Edelhauser has become the world’s authority on transscleral drug delivery,” says Timothy W. Olsen, MD, Emory Eye Center director. “This text has brought together the leading thinkers and strategic scientists in pharmacotherapy to the eye and will provide a firm data-based foundation that frames the science in this burgeoning field—a field that is likely to grow and expand exponentially.”  

Edelhauser has made pioneering contributions towards transcorneal, transscleral, and suprachoroidal drug delivery to the eye. He served as Emory Eye Center’s Sylvia Montag Ferst and Frank W. Ferst Endowed Research Professor and director of its research section from 1989 until 2009. Edelhauser is a recipient of the Castroviejo Medal and the Alcon Research Award (1999), American Academy of Ophthalmology Senior Achievement Award (2000), and the Procter Medal (2005) for his outstanding ophthalmic translational research. He served as the president of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (1990-91).  

In addition to Edelhauser’s contributions, the following Eye Center faculty contributed chapters to the text:  

  • Jeffrey Boatright, PhD
  • Dayle Geroski, PhD (retired)
  • Bernard McCarey, PhD
  • John Nickerson, PhD
  • Timothy W. Olsen, MD
  • Machelle Pardue, PhD  

The book may serve as a resource for ophthalmic researchers, an array of scientists, as well as clinicians involved in developing innovative therapeutics for diseases located in the back of the eye.  

The book contains 151 illustrations andwas published in partnership with The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (aaps).  


About Emory Eye Center

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 33 ophthalmologists, eight optometrists, 11 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 $23.8 million. The Department remains in the top rankings (#14 – 2010) by U.S. News & World Report for the 15 years the magazine has held a ranking for Ophthalmology. It also ranks in the Top Ten in the peer-reviewed 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. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.


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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Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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