Melissa Skala was awarded a grant from the National Eye Institute to develop a new imaging method for quantifying melanin in the human eye. With this two-year, $480,135 grant, Skala and her team will develop a technique called photothermal optical coherence tomography. This technique hopes to create quantitative 3D images of melanin concentration in living retinal tissues.
“This project will test new imaging technologies to monitor melanin levels in the eye, which could provide early detection of retinal diseases that lead to blindness,” says Skala. “The grant includes the first in human studies for safety and accuracy.”
Skala, also the Retina Research Foundation Daniel M. Albert Chair at UW-Madison’s McPherson Eye Research Institute, will work in collaboration with Joseph Carroll, director of the Advanced Ocular Imaging Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin.