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Glaucoma Research Foundation Announces More Than $1 Million in Research Grants during World Glaucoma Week - For 5th Consecutive Year

March 11, 2014, San Francisco, CA - Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) is marking World Glaucoma Week by announcing more than one million dollars in research grants for the fifth consecutive year.

Combined, the Foundation’s one-year Shaffer Grants awarded to eight researchers with new ideas, plus the four laboratories engaged in the multi-year collaborative research team Catalyst for a Cure, and a follow-on research grant to Vanderbilt Eye Institute, a total of $1.4 million will be awarded this year to advance innovative glaucoma research.

Glaucoma Research Foundation is awarding $1,000,000 this year to the Catalyst for a Cure research consortium - principal investigators at four laboratories working collaboratively, seeking specific biomarkers for glaucoma - and eight individual grant recipients will receive $40,000 each in support of their research into the causes and potential new diagnostics or treatments for glaucoma. This investment makes GRF one of the nation’s largest private sources of funding for innovative glaucoma research.

“Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. A major obstacle in the prevention of vision loss is the difficulty in detecting the disease early enough,” said Thomas M. Brunner, GRF President and CEO. “Glaucoma Research Foundation is investing in research to unlock the secrets of glaucoma, to find biomarkers to help detect, diagnose, and treat the disease, and we hope that these findings will one day ultimately lead to a cure,” he added.

Catalyst for a Cure

The multi-year Catalyst for a Cure consortium is a collaborative research initiative comprised of four scientists at prominent universities. This year $250,000 is being awarded to each principal investigator. The four investigators are:

  • Alfredo Dubra, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Biophysics, Department of Ophthalmology, The Eye Institute, Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Jeffrey L. Goldberg, MD, PhD, Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of Research, Shiley Eye Center, University of California San Diego
  • Andrew Huberman, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosciences, Biology and Ophthalmology, University of California San Diego
  • Vivek Srinivasan, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis

The 2014 Shaffer Grants for Innovative Glaucoma Research

GRF’s Scientific Advisory Committee evaluates Shaffer Grant applications and determines the most promising projects for Glaucoma Research Foundation to fund each year. The following 2014 Shaffer Grants will be awarded at $40,000 each:

  • Jeff M. Gidday, PhD, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO - Project: Delayed Post-Conditioning for Glaucoma Neuroprotection
  • Vikas Gulati, MD, Truhlsen Eye Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE - Project: Effect of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Blockers on Aqueous Humor Dynamics
  • David Krizaj, PhD, Moran Eye Institute, University of Utah, Salt lake City, UT - Project: RGC Mechanotransduction as a Target in Glaucoma
  • Yutao Liu, MD, PhD, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC - Project: Exosomal RNAs and Aqueous Humor Dynamics
  • Stuart J. McKinnon, MD, PhD, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC - Project: Neuroinflammation: The Role of Lymphocytes in Glaucoma
  • Robert W. Nickells, PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI - Project: Purinergic Signaling of Neuroinflammatory Glial Responses in a Model of Optic Nerve Damage
  • Colm O’Brien, MD, FRCS, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland - Project: Caveolins, Calcium Signalling and Fibrosis of Lamina Cribrosa Cells in Glaucoma
  • Joshua D. Stein, MD, MS, W.K. Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - Project: A Dynamic, Personalized Glaucoma Monitoring Decision Support Tool

About World Glaucoma Week

Established by the World Glaucoma Association and World Glaucoma Patient Association, World Glaucoma Week is a unique initiative to help those with an interest in improved eye health to understand the devastating effects of a condition that will affect 80 million people by 2020. Experts estimate that half of the people with glaucoma are unaware of their condition and could be slowly losing their sight because their glaucoma has not been diagnosed or treated. 2014 marks the sixth year of observance for World Glaucoma Week. Learn more at www.wgweek.net.

“World Glaucoma Week highlights this very important vision problem. At Glaucoma Research Foundation we always emphasize that a comprehensive eye exam is the best opportunity for prevention” said Andrew G. Iwach, MD, Chair of the GRF Board of Directors. “Early detection through regular and complete eye exams is really the key to protecting your vision from damage that may be caused by glaucoma.”

About Glaucoma Research Foundation

Founded in 1978 and headquartered in San Francisco, Glaucoma Research Foundation is America’s oldest and most experienced nonprofit dedicated solely to its mission: to prevent vision loss from glaucoma by investing in innovative research, education and support with the ultimate goal of finding a cure. Glaucoma Research Foundation has invested more than $50 million into research and education to prevent vision loss from glaucoma. More information is available at www.glaucoma.org/about.

Contact: Andrew Jackson, Director of Communications: - (415) 986-3162.

Last reviewed on October 29, 2017

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