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$1 Million in Research Grants Announced during World Glaucoma Week

March 13, 2013, San Francisco, CA - Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) is marking World Glaucoma Week (March 10-16, 2013) by announcing $1,120,000 in grants for innovative glaucoma research awarded to a dozen investigators at prestigious institutions around the world.

Glaucoma Research Foundation is awarding $800,000 this year to the Catalyst for a Cure research consortium - a team of four principal investigators 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. With this investment of over $1 million, GRF continues to be one of the nation’s largest private sources of funding for innovative glaucoma research.

Collaborative Research Focused on a Cure

The multi-year Catalyst for a Cure consortium, launched by Glaucoma Research Foundation in 2002, comprises four scientists from prominent universities. After a decade of groundbreaking research that helped redefine our understanding of how glaucoma steals sight and changed the conventional understanding of glaucoma from an eye disease to a neurodegenerative brain disease, the Foundation put together a new team of investigators with the goal of identifying sensitive and specific biomarkers for glaucoma. This year $200,000 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 Catalyst for a Cure research team and all of the individual investigators receiving our Shaffer Grants are working diligently to find answers to the many questions about how glaucoma steals sight and find new avenues to better treatments and ultimately a cure,” said Thomas M. Brunner, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Glaucoma Research Foundation. “Without this critical funding from the Glaucoma Research Foundation, many of these research projects would not be able to advance our knowledge toward a cure.”

The 2013 Shaffer Grants for Innovative Glaucoma Research

The following project grants will be awarded at $40,000 each thanks to generous support from The Alcon Foundation, the Estate of Dr. Miriam Yelsky, and the Merck Department of Continuing Education:

  • Anneke I. den Hollander, PhD, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands - Project: Dissecting the Genetic Causes of Congenital and Juvenile Glaucoma (The Dr. Miriam Yelsky Memorial Research Grant)
  • M. Elizabeth Fini, PhD, University of Southern California, Institute for Genetic Medicine, Los Angeles, CA - Project: Novel Mucins and Aqueous Outflow
  • Andras M. Komaromy, PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI - Project: Gene Therapy in a Spontaneous Canine Model of Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma
  • Colleen M. McDowell, PhD, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX - Project: Retina Ganglion Cell Subtype Specific Cell Death in a Mouse Model of Human Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma
  • Lin Wang, MD, PhD, Devers Eye Institute/Legacy Research Institute, Portland, OR - Project: Noninvasive Assessment of Dynamic Autoregulation in Optic Nerve Head

The 2013 Frank Stein and Paul S. May Grants for Innovative Glaucoma Research

The following project grants will be awarded at $40,000 each thanks to generous support from Frank Stein and Paul S. May:

  • John H. Fingert, MD, PhD, University of Iowa, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Iowa City, IA - Project: Molecular Genetic Study of Normal Tension Glaucoma using Transgenic Mice
  • Yvonne Ou, MD, University of California San Francisco, Department of Ophthalmology - Project: Investigating Axonal Death Pathways in Glaucoma
  • David Sretavan, MD, PhD, University of California San Francisco - Project: Pathophysiological Progression in Single RGC Axons Following Microscale Compressive Injury

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.

“For 35 years, Glaucoma Research Foundation has been spreading the word about the risks of vision loss from glaucoma and funding research to find a cure,” said Mr. Brunner. “World Glaucoma Week is an opportunity for everyone to help spread the word by talking about glaucoma — either your own diagnosis or family history, or simply sharing information and encouraging eye exams. In this way we can all help to prevent irreversible vision loss from this ‘silent thief of sight’.”

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. Now celebrating its 35th anniversary, Glaucoma Research Foundation has invested more than $40 million into research and education to prevent vision loss from glaucoma. More information is available at glaucoma.org/about.

Last reviewed on October 29, 2017

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