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Glaucoma Research Foundation Announces $1.6 Million in Research Grants

Announcement during World Glaucoma Week promises to help speed cure for glaucoma and raise awareness of a leading cause of blindness worldwide.

March 10, 2015, San Francisco, CA - Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) marked World Glaucoma Week today by announcing $1.6 million dollars in research grants. Glaucoma Research Foundation is funding eight researchers at prestigious universities with one-year Shaffer Grants, and four principal investigators engaged in the multi-year research collaboration “Catalyst for a Cure,” plus additional grants for a total of $1.6 million to be awarded this year toward innovative glaucoma research.

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

“Glaucoma is a complicated disease and a leading cause of blindness worldwide,” said Thomas M. Brunner, GRF President and CEO. “A key to preventing vision loss is to detect the disease at an early stage. With generous donor support, Glaucoma Research Foundation is investing in research seeking better biomarkers to help detect, diagnose, and treat glaucoma. We hope these findings will 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 2015 research grants are made possible through generous philanthropic support including leadership gifts from The Frank Stein and Paul S. May Grants for Innovative Research, The Alcon Foundation, the Dr. Henry A. Sutro Family Grant for Research, Dr. James and Elizabeth Wise, and The Dr. Miriam Yelsky Memorial Research Grant. 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 2015 Shaffer Grants will be awarded at $40,000 each:

  • Donald L. Budenz, MD, MPH, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - Project: Incidence of Glaucoma and Glaucoma Progression in an Urban West African Population
  • Paul L. Kaufman, MD, University of Wisconsin-Madison - Project: Gene Therapy for Glaucoma
  • Richard T. Libby, PhD, University of Rochester Medical School, Rochester, NY - Project: Understanding Axonal Degeneration Pathways in Glaucoma
  • Paloma Liton, PhD, Duke University Eye Center, Durham, NC - Project: Lysosomal Enzymes, Glycosaminoglycans and Outflow Pathway Physiology
  • Lyne Racette, PhD, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN - Project: Early Detection of Glaucoma Progression using Structural and Functional Data Jointly
  • Matthew A. Smith, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - Project: Measuring the In-vivo Effects on the Optic Nerve Head of Acute Variations in Cerebrospinal Fluid Pressure
  • Shandiz Tehrani, MD, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR - Project: Local Drug Delivery to the Optic Nerve Head as a Novel Treatment in Experimental Glaucoma
  • Gülgün Tezel, MD, Columbia University, New York, NY - Project: Molecular Biomarkers of Glaucoma

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. 2015 marks the 7th year of observance for World Glaucoma Week.

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