The Ophthalmological Research Foundation began its activity in April 2009 with a clear objective: To advance knowledge of the roots of the diseases that cause blindness and alterations in vision, in order to achieve new measures of prevention, diagnosis and medical-surgical treatment.
To this mission we may add our teaching commitment, which has been consolidated since last June 3, when the Principality of Asturias Official Gazette published decree 40/2015, by which the Ophthalmological Research Foundation (ORF) is affiliated to The University of Oviedo as a University Institute.
This recognition enables us to continue research and teaching activities in ophthalmology and vision sciences, with the University of Oviedo and its International Excellence Campus seal of quality.
In addition, ORF activity is reinforced by the addition of researchers, which allows us to be more efficient in the tasks of biomedical research and postgraduate teaching.
All this is undertaken in a unique environment that is closely connected to medical-surgical activity of the Fernández-Vega Ophthalmological
Institute, and which presents researchers with unresolved clinical problems, allowing the results of the laboratory to arrive as soon as possible at the clinic. This is a model of translational research.
As part of this activity, patients with eye complaints that are difficult to solve are favoured. We provide them with new specialists, new researchers and new products. Students who attend the high speciality programmes in vision sciences and students who are training to be researchers in the doctoral programme also benefit.
This activity becomes reality, year after year, with the effort of the researchers and students, the financial support of competitive research projects and the patronage activity of the institutions and patients who help us.
For this purpose, there are three translational research groups An eye surface unit, with Dr. Carlos Belmonte and Dr. Jesus Merayo as principal researchers. A retina neurobiology unit, directed by Dr. Neville Osborne, and an eye disease genetics unit, with Dr. Miguel Coca Prados at the helm. There are also two clinical research groups: one dedicated to the study of the anterior segment, and another specialized in vitreous-retina, co-ordinated by Luis Fernández-Vega Sanz and directed by doctors José F. Alfonso and Álvaro Fernández-Vega, respectively. They have a multidisciplinary team that performs research on results analysis and clinical trials.
The intense activity of the Ophthalmological Research Foundation also involves the presentation of its work in national and international courses and conferences, and it participated in about twenty meetings last year.
In addition, due to the high teaching capacity of the research activity carried out by the Foundation, a postgraduate study programme has been established, in partnership with the University of Oviedo, although the Foundation also links undergraduate activities as practical classes for students of Medicine and Biological Sciences.