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For his research on the potential of gene therapy to provide lasting control of intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients with known genetic defects, András Komáromy, DVM, PhD was awarded the 2015 Shaffer Prize for Innovative Glaucoma Research.
In ceremonies at the Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala on February 5th in San Francisco, George A. Cioffi, MD, chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Glaucoma Research Foundation, presented the prize to Dr. Komáromy for his study, “Gene Therapy in a Spontaneous Canine Model of Primary Open Glaucoma.”
András Komáromy, DVM, PhD
Dr. Komáromy is associate professor of ophthalmology, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing.
Dr. Komáromy studies the molecular causes of inherited eye diseases in dogs and is working to develop gene therapies to stop vision loss. By identifying and treating gene mutations in dogs, his research moves us closer to gene therapy that could one day be used to manage and prevent glaucoma in humans.
The Shaffer Prize, presented annually by the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), recognizes a researcher whose project best exemplifies the pursuit of innovative ideas in the quest to better understand glaucoma. In 2013, with funding from the Shaffer Grants for Innovative Glaucoma Research, Komáromy sought to provide proof of principle that gene therapy could provide lasting control of normal eye pressure.
Clinicians know that increased IOP contributes to glaucoma progression in a majority of patients with primary open-angle glaucoma. Since some families seem to be affected more than others by glaucoma, inherited risk factors are suspected to play a vital role in the development of the disease. Through past research, several genetic defects have been identified that likely contribute to increased IOP.
In this project, Dr. Komáromy and colleagues intended to demonstrate that they could insert healthy copies of a damaged gene into the fluid drainage channels inside the eye and normalize IOP. The hope is that their research will provide proof that gene therapy could provide lasting control of normal IOP in patients with known genetic defects.
The Shaffer Prize for Innovative Glaucoma Research was established in 2007 to honor the late Robert N. Shaffer, MD, a co-founder of GRF.
Last reviewed on February 13, 2015