The nonprofit organization Research to Prevent Blindness has awarded a prestigious RPB Career Development Award to physician-scientist J. Peter Campbell, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the OHSU School of Medicine and retina specialist at the OHSU Casey Eye Institute.
Campbell’s research focuses primarily on innovative imaging techniques to screen for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a leading cause of blindness in premature and low birth weight infants. Increased survival of premature infants has brought an increase in the numbers of children affected by ROP, which causes blood vessels to grow abnormally in the retina.
“Non-invasive imaging of the eye’s anatomy and blood flow has made it possible for us to prevent blindness in numerous conditions. The work being conducted by Dr. Campbell and his collaborators will help bring similarly radical advances to infants and children with retinopathy of prematurity.”
— Andreas Lauer, M.D., chair and professor of ophthalmology, OHSU School of Medicine, chief of retina-vitreous division, Casey Eye Institute
Early diagnosis and treatment reduce the risk of blindness in infants with ROP. Blindness resulting from ROP in developed countries is limited because of increased access to full neonatal care. ROP blindness occurs more often in low- and middle-income countries, where resources and technology may limit neonatal care.
Under the mentorship of Michael Chiang, M.D., professor of ophthalmology, OHSU School of Medicine and Knowles Professor of Ophthalmology, and with computer scientist Jayashree Kalpathy-Cramer, Ph.D. at Massachusetts General Hospital, Campbell is developing technology that can use telemedicine to screen for severe ROP in India and other low- and middle-income countries.
Over the last two years, Campbell has also been working with David Huang, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of ophthalmology at the OHSU School of Medicine and Peterson Professor of Ophthalmology and co-inventor of Optical Coherence Tomography. OCT has transformed the way ophthalmologists are able to diagnose, monitor and treat devastating eye diseases. It makes possible early detection of glaucoma and macular degeneration, diseases that may cause significant damage prior to the appearance of symptoms.
Campbell and Huang are now translating that technology to be effective with pediatric patients. The Career Development Award will further support development of a handheld prototype OCT that was developed at OHSU for use in ROP screening.
“I am incredibly grateful both to Research to Prevent Blindness and my mentors and colleagues at OHSU and at our collaborating institutions. Their support makes possible our work to improve the care for children with retinal disease in the U.S. and around the world.”
— J. Peter Campbell, M.D., M.P.H.
Campbell completed medical school and residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Wilmer Eye Institute and was an Alfred Sommer scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Following his vitreoretinal fellowship at the Casey Eye Institute, he returned to Wilmer to serve as the Stephen J. Ryan Assistant Chief of Service from 2014 to 2015 before joining the faculty at Casey in 2015.
The RPB Career Development Award was established in 1990 to attract physicians and basic scientists to eye research early in their careers. The award will provide $300,000 over four years to support Campbell’s research.