The Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering at Rowan University is part of an international team working to preserve the vision of patients with some of the leading causes of blindness, according to Rowan University.

Mark Byrne, founding department head and professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, is an advisor and collaborator in the ORBITAL (Ocular Research By Integrated Training and Learning) European Training Network program. ORBITAL was funded with €4m (about $4.5 million U.S.) by the European Union, and will work to develop improved, less-invasive treatments of diseases of the back of the eye, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease.

Led by Ireland’s Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre in the Waterford Institute of Technology, ORBITAL is a training network that will recruit and train 15 early-stage researchers who are Ph.D. students across Europe to develop drug-delivery technologies that can help treat eye diseases.

The network is a consortium of 23 members from Europe, the United States and Canada, including academics, industry representatives, clinicians, patient advocacy groups and hospitals. The goal is to train Ph.D. candidate researchers, ensuring that they have a clear focus on patient needs and interdisciplinary skills. ORBITAL will include outreach, dissemination, and patient and public engagement.

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