Its domain will be, as a matter of priority, research and education. Affiliated to Universidad de Oviedo it means an important recognition for the work and potential of the Fundación de Investigación (FIO – Research Foundation), as many of its activities.

The Fundación de Investigación Oftalmológica (FIO – Eye Research Foundation), driven by the Instituto Oftalmológico Fernández-Vega, where it has its laboratories and headquarters, will see how many of its research and education activities now take place in collaboration with Universidad de Oviedo, under the denomination of Instituto Universitario Fernández-Vega. The joint activities of both entities will take place here, as approved by the Governing Council of the Principality of Asturias at the proposal of Universidad de Oviedo.

The new Institute “means an important recognition for the work and long career of our Foundation, which was born in 2009 with a clear aim: to gain more knowledge about the basis of the diseases that cause blindness and vision alterations in order to achieve new prevention, diagnosis and medical and surgical measures”, explained Luis Fernández-Vega, whose drive and involvement have proven to be crucial to the final outcome.

The Instituto Universitario Fernández-Vega is the first institute of these characteristics in Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at Universidad de Oviedo and the only one with a mixed public-private nature, with all that implies for the advance of a new collaboration model that will significantly drive initiatives that up until now were carried out independently.

The area of activity of the new university centre is essentially devoted to the fields of research and education.

In research, the new institute “will facilitate the interaction between researchers from Universidad de Oviedo and researchers from FIO, providing the greatest critical mass with the optimisation of the resources of both institutions to develop further-reaching and multidisciplinary projects through the collaboration between basic and clinical researchers, access to more funding and carry out tasks that, for each entity on its own, were difficult to address,” explains the professor.

On the other hand, in the field of education, and continuing with the work that is already being carried out by the FIO, the Instituto Universitario Fernández-Vega will train researchers and post-graduate students (doctorate and masters programmes). “Thus, for example, physicians who are already ophthalmologists can train in what we call the high specialties (masters in cornea, retina or glaucoma); opticians-optometrists, in Clinical Optometry; nurses who enjoy the operating theatre and Vision Sciences, in Ophthalmological Nursing; and like this many other graduates in Life Sciences, so that official programmes can be launched and the internationalisation of these addressed,” concludes the professor.

Finally, one must highlight that with the launch of the new entity any initiative implemented is guaranteed the quality mark of the Universidad de Oviedo and its International Campus of Excellence.

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