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2010 Shaffer Prize Awarded to Kate Keller, PhD

On January 27 at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco, the Glaucoma Research Foundation awarded the 2010 Shaffer Prize for Innovative Glaucoma Research to Kate Keller, PhD. Dr. Keller is Research Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology at Casey Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon.

The Shaffer Prize for Innovative Glaucoma Research was created in 2007 to honor the memory of Robert M. Shaffer, MD. Each year the Shaffer Prize recognizes the researcher whose project, funded by a Shaffer Grant, best exemplifies the pursuit of innovative ideas in the quest to better understand glaucoma. GRF’s Shaffer Grants are one-year awards of $40,000 that facilitate a pilot research project. The Glaucoma Research Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee selects grant recipients and awards the Shaffer Prize each year.

Kate Keller, PhD was awarded the Shaffer Prize for her research investigating the role of Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in fluid outflow resistance in the trabecular meshwork of the eye. In primary open-angle glaucoma, there is increased resistance to aqueous flow through the trabecular meshwork, which results in increased intraocular pressure (IOP). GAGs are long sugar chains synthesized by the addition of sugar residues by specific enzymes, and are a likely source of outflow resistance. Experimental results from this study could potentially lead to new therapies for lowering eye pressure in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma.

Dr. Keller published her results in the scientific journals Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science and Experimental Eye Research. A native of Scotland, Dr. Keller received her PhD from the University of Edinburgh and obtained postdoctoral training as a Fellow in the laboratories of Dr. Nick Morris and Dr. Lynn Sakai.

Last reviewed on April 01, 2011

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