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GRF: 40 Years of Innovation

Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for glaucoma.

For 40 years, GRF has worked to advance sight-saving research and provide essential educational resources for patients. We fund critical research into glaucoma treatment, vision restoration, and a cure for glaucoma. Click the Play button to watch the video.

Video Transcript

Amanda Eddy: I was born with glaucoma. My father actually had glaucoma and went blind when he was young, so it’s been a really big part of my life. The Glaucoma Research Foundation website has so much useful information for people who are recently diagnosed. Honestly, that’s how I found out was searching online and looking for tools and information about glaucoma, and it was one of the first sites that popped up that had really useful information.

H. Dunbar Hoskins, Jr., MD: I think GRF, as an organization, is unique, because it’s the largest foundation in the country, maybe in the world, I think it is in the world, focused only on one disease, glaucoma.

Richard A. Lewis, MD: I certainly new Bob Shaffer and Dunbar [Hoskins], and Jack [Hetherington], and saw the development of this in 1978. I was in residency at the time, and then the foundation started. It was with that same mission, to prevent visual loss from glaucoma. You’ve raised over $40 million. Some important initial discoveries … the first genetic discovery in glaucoma, the TIGR gene, and then of course the Family History Project. One of the things that we all quote in all of our practices is the Normal Tension Glaucoma Trial. All of those came out of the Glaucoma Research Foundation, and I don’t think there’s any other foundation in the world that can make those kinds of claims.

Robert D. Fechtner, MD: The Glaucoma Research Foundation has stimulated collaboration. This is a slide I’ve been showing for over a decade. It’s alphabet soup of glaucoma studies. The Collaborative Normal Tension Glaucoma Study is the only one of the major clinical trials that was not funded in-part by the government. It was funded by the Glaucoma Research Foundation. It was the first multi-center clinical trial to document that lowering eye pressure preserves vision. It was a catalyst. The Glaucoma Research Foundation is a catalyst for scientific innovation. We are seeing work from a gifted group of scientists looking for biomarkers. There are Shaffer Grants being given as “priming the pump,” and with great success.

James D. Brandt, MD: My relationship with the GRF goes back well over 20 years. GRF funded some of my early work in the field of new drug development for glaucoma. I have been forever grateful to the seed funding that the GRF gave to us.

Joel S. Schuman, MD: There just aren’t very many places that glaucoma investigators can go to get funding for this sort of work. In addition, the Catalyst for a Cure program forms a consortium of people who generally have not worked together before to bring people together who have unique skill sets, and to create some synergy between the groups.

Monica L. Vetter, PhD: Funding from the Glaucoma Research Foundation has made such a tremendous difference. It’s brought new people into the field, really catalyzed new initiatives and new ideas, and it’s been able to stimulate a lot of interesting and important new directions in glaucoma research.

Andrew D. Huberman, PhD: The field of glaucoma research, I think, has advanced tremendously in no small part due to the support of the Glaucoma Research Foundation. I think that’s absolutely clear.

Dr. Fechtner: The Glaucoma Research Foundation is serving an essential purpose for us. Their focus is to help us find a cure.

Amanda Eddy: I don’t know. I’ve been using the same medications for 36 years. One eye drop I have been using my entire life. I genuinely think that a cure will be found in my lifetime, and the funding, and just all of the work the Glaucoma Research Foundation is doing towards that; they’re making it happen. You know, grants, and events like Glaucoma 360, and all of the learning and everything that’s going on, is just propelling that, that cure, which we’ll get to. A cure would mean, it would just mean everything. (Sorry).

Christopher Wilmoth: What helped me through it is I just remember I’m not the only one who was born with glaucoma, and it could have been much worse. I could have lost my sight.

Catherine Wilmoth: We don’t want people to lose their sight. If it’s preventable, it’s really important to find a cure, so people, more people can see ‘till the end of their lives, and see all the beautiful colors in this world that we live in.
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End transcript.

GRF funds research on vision preservation and restoration, as well as a cure for glaucoma. Your donation will help speed the cure. Give today.

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