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Vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible. Currently there is no cure and everyone is at risk for developing this blinding disease. With the aging population expanding so rapidly, a worldwide epidemic is looming. It is predicted that 111 million people around the globe will have glaucoma by 2040. If we act now, we have the potential to preserve sight and change lives.
The time for our bold vision is now. For this reason, we launched The Cure is in Sight: The Campaign for Glaucoma Research Foundation in 2014. Thanks to more than 15,000 contributions, we exceeded our initial campaign goal of $15 million. To keep this incredible momentum going and help raise funds to support the next Catalyst for a Cure consortium, we have extended the Campaign to raise $25 million by 2020.
To date, we have raised $20 million toward our $25 million goal.
This important fundraising endeavor will reinforce our mission, strengthen education and awareness efforts, and make possible great strides in scientific discovery. Since this is a comprehensive campaign, each and every gift donated will count toward our ambitious goal of $25 million.
Since our earliest days, Glaucoma Research Foundation has set the agenda for glaucoma research and served as a catalyst in speeding the pace of discovery, translating laboratory findings into clinical solutions, and sharing knowledge.
In 2019, Glaucoma Research Foundation formed the Catalyst for a Cure (CFC) Vision Restoration Initiative with a goal to better understand what specifically causes vision loss in glaucoma and then to identify targeted interventions for protecting and restoring the neurons responsible for vision.
This is the third team of CFC investigators funded by Glaucoma Research Foundation. The team’s research will build on discoveries made by the first two CFC teams and their collaboration will intensify the search for new genetic, neuroprotective, and cell replacement therapies for glaucoma.
The CFC principal investigators are Xin Duan, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Physiology Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California, San Francisco; Yang Hu, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Stanford University School of Medicine; Anna La Torre, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis; and Derek Welsbie, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, San Diego Shiley Eye Institute, University of California, San Diego.
The CFC team is already making exceptional progress toward the challenge of vision restoration in glaucoma. The team has identified several specific aims for their research and set milestones toward achieving them.
This research initiative provides grants to investigators with novel ideas that might not get funded otherwise. They function as incubator grants and enable scientists to go forward with potentially groundbreaking studies. As a result, more researchers are focusing on solving glaucoma vision loss and more critical investigations are initiated, leading us closer to new therapies and a cure.
Many important breakthroughs have resulted from these studies including the first genetic discovery in glaucoma and the isolation of the TIGR gene — found to be one of those responsible for the onset of some forms of juvenile and adult glaucoma.
To date, we have funded more than 250 individual pilot projects. Each award, on average, has led to follow-on funding from the National Eye Institute and other organizations totaling four times the original grant. This return on investment is unique in medical research and enables promising investigations to advance.
With additional support, our goal is to significantly increase the number of Shaffer Grants over the next three years. Your investment can lead to the next major innovation in glaucoma.
A diagnosis of glaucoma can be frightening and living with the disease can be challenging and overwhelming. Through our educational programs such as free publications, free newsletters, a comprehensive website, and engaging social media, we provide critical resources and support for patients and their caregivers. Since glaucoma has no visible symptoms, early detection is critical to preserve vision.
Of the three million Americans and 60 million people who have glaucoma worldwide, it is estimated that half do not even know they have the condition. Among African American, Asian and Latino populations, glaucoma is more prevalent, and a leading cause of blindness.
As a result of this need, raising public awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations—for everyone—is essential.
In addition to patient support and awareness, Glaucoma Research Foundation is a primary catalyst for innovation meetings that bring together national and international thought leaders in order to collaborate, share their latest findings and discuss research priorities.
In 2012, we launched Glaucoma 360, a forum that unites scientists, clinicians and industry for one reason—to speed the development of new clinical advances to benefit patient care. This annual event includes a Continuing Medical Education Symposium for clinicians highlighting the latest advances in glaucoma management, medications and surgical technique. And in 2019, we launched the Glaucoma Patient Summit, a live forum sharing the latest treatment options and practical insights into living with glaucoma.
With your support, we will increase glaucoma awareness, expand outreach and education to clinicians who care for glaucoma patients, and better serve those affected by the disease — patients, families and communities.
We are grateful to our Campaign leadership, Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, and generous supporters who have partnered with us in our goal of raising $25 million to advance glaucoma research and education.
Thank you for joining us in this important mission to preserve vision from glaucoma. Together, the cure is truly in sight.
F.T. Barr - Co-Chair
June Behrendt Otto - Co-Chair
John Hetherington, Jr., MD
H. Dunbar Hoskins, Jr., MD
Michele and Steven Kirsch
Robert C. Nevins
Thomas M. Brunner
Timothy J. Dwyer
Rick Halprin, CPA
Andrew Iwach, MD
Linda C. Linck
Paul Schacknow, MD, PhD
Ruth Williams, MD
For more information, please contact Nancy Graydon, Executive Director of Development at 415-986-3162 or 1-800-826-6693, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This campaign is about you, your grandparents, your children …anyone in your life affected by this blinding disease. If we act now, we have the potential to forever change lives. But we need your partnership in order to move forward.
Last reviewed on October 11, 2019