The Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Utah School of Medicine has received a $50,000 grant to research prevention and treatment of blinding eye disease.

The grant is one of 64 nationwide awarded to medical schools from Research to Prevent Blindness, the world's leading voluntary organization to support eye research.Dr. Randall J. Olson, professor and department chair, said the funding will allow maximum scientific freedom for research exploring eye diseases. The grant will allow Eric Lasater, associate professor of opthalmology, to continue his investigation into the retina processes information in the mechanism that produces vision; and Helga Kolb, professor of opthalmology, to explore cellular composition of the retina.

Olson said the latest installment of money is part of $215,300 in funds that the research organization has granted to the department.