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Catalyst for a Cure (CFC) is a major collaborative scientific effort in the field of glaucoma that represents an entirely unique approach to research, both by its design and its intent.
In order to expedite outcomes in support of our goal to discover a cure for glaucoma, we chose a different type of research model when forming the Catalyst for Cure.
In traditional research laboratories, individual scientists work on separate projects and typically only publicly reveal their findings at conferences or in publications. Often, scientists in the same field are in competition for grant money to fund their work so there is an inherent need for discretion and confidentiality until results are made public. In the CFC research model, we guarantee a level of funding that allows the scientists to focus on their collaborative effort to find a cure for glaucoma.
At the outset, we set up a volunteer Advisory Board comprised of top neuroscientists who contacted university and institutional department chairs and asked them to suggest promising young post-docs who might be interested in glaucoma and had a willingness to collaborate. From this unconventional recruitment process, we identified four promising young researchers eager to collaborate on glaucoma research.
Our funding for CFC is on par with that of a government grant. To date, we have invested more than $7 million dollars in this collaborative research focused on clear goals and useful results.
In the first year of the Catalyst for a Cure consortium, the four principal researchers established research objectives to be tackled collaboratively. One key objective was to study the disease’s early progression.
With backing from the Glaucoma Research Foundation, and their commitment to collaboration, the CFC is poised to make significant inroads in the knowledge and understanding of the disease. Multi-disciplinary approaches, fresh thinking and cross-pollination of ideas set the stage for accelerated success and serve as a model for other researchers in all other disease areas.
Collaborative research thus far has yielded important findings in an accelerated time frame that would have taken a good deal longer had the scientists not regularly shared their early results with each other.
Launched in 2002, the original team of four “Catalyst for a Cure” investigators has made a significant impact on the field of glaucoma research. Their findings have redefined our understanding of how glaucoma steals sight and created possibilities for new therapeutic approaches to the disease.
CFC biomarkers team launched in 2012
In 2012, the Glaucoma Research Foundation assembled a second team of four investigators to work collaboratively and further expand our knowledge of glaucoma. This new team, focused on biomarkers, will add critical skills and fresh perspectives to the Catalyst for a Cure.
The expanded Catalyst for a Cure research consortium includes David Calkins, PhD, Vanderbilt University; Alfredo Dubra, PhD, Medical College of Wisconsin; Jeffrey Goldberg, MD, PhD, Shiley Eye Center, University of California San Diego; Philip Horner, PhD, University of Washington; Andrew Huberman, PhD, University of California San Diego; Nicholas Marsh-Armstrong, PhD, Johns Hopkins University; Vivek Srinivasan, PhD, University of California Davis; and Monica Vetter, PhD, University of Utah.
Last reviewed on February 14, 2014