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Glaucoma Research Foundation Redoubles Research Effort in 2012

Announcement during World Glaucoma Week emphasizes importance of research to cure blinding eye disease.

March 14, 2012, San Francisco -- Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) announced today that it will double its Catalyst for a Cure research consortium to eight research scientists from prestigious universities across the United States. In addition, GRF has awarded more annual research grants to explore new ideas than in any prior year.

Launched in 2002, the original team of four “Catalyst for a Cure” investigators has made a significant impact on the field of glaucoma research. Their findings have redefined our understanding of how glaucoma steals sight and created possibilities for new therapeutic approaches to the disease.

Catalyst for a Cure Team Expanded

This year GRF has assembled a second team of four investigators to work collaboratively and further expand our knowledge of glaucoma. This new team will add critical skills and fresh perspectives to the Catalyst for a Cure.

The expanded Catalyst for a Cure research consortium includes David Calkins, PhD, Vanderbilt University; Alfredo Dubra, PhD, Medical College of Wisconsin; Jeffrey Goldberg, MD, PhD, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute; Philip Horner, PhD, University of Washington; Andrew Huberman, PhD, University of California, San Diego; Nicholas Marsh-Armstrong, PhD, Johns Hopkins University; Vivek Srinivasan, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital; and Monica Vetter, PhD, University of Utah.

Eight Grants Awarded to Explore New Ideas

In addition to funding multi-year collaborative research, Glaucoma Research Foundation provides seed money for creative research projects that hold promise and explore new ideas. Today GRF announced that it has awarded 8 one-year project grants made possible by generous support from Alcon, Merck, Frank Stein and Paul S. May, and James Wise, MD.

Grants in the amount of $40,000 each were awarded to: David Andrew Feldheim, PhD, University of California Santa Cruz; Purushottam Jha, PhD, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; Melanie Kelly, PhD, Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia, Canada); Leonard A. Levin, MD, PhD, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health; Wei Li, PhD, University of Miami School of Medicine; Alexander C. Theos, PhD, Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.); Derek S. Welsbie, MD, PhD, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; and Rachel Wong, PhD, University of Washington.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States and worldwide. Often called “the sneak thief of sight,” glaucoma can cause blindness if it is left untreated. Even with proper treatment, approximately 10% of people with glaucoma still experience loss of vision, making research to find a cure especially imperative.

About the Catalyst for a Cure

Catalyst for a Cure (CFC) breaks with the traditional approach to medical research. Traditionally, individual scientists work on separate projects, compete for grant money, and share the advances they make only at conferences and in publications. In contrast, CFC researchers are engaged in an ongoing partnership. They spend time in each other's labs, collaborate online, share their results, and work toward a unified understanding of disease progression and therapeutic targets.

About the Glaucoma Research Foundation

Located in San Francisco, Glaucoma Research Foundation is the nation’s most experienced foundation dedicated solely to glaucoma research and education. In addition to funding innovative research like the Catalyst for a Cure consortium and Shaffer Grants, Glaucoma Research Foundation provides free educational material including the definitive reference for newly diagnosed patients, “Understanding and Living with Glaucoma,” brochures serving those at highest risk including African Americans and Latinos, and a comprehensive website www.glaucoma.org that answers patients’ questions about glaucoma.

Last reviewed on May 02, 2012

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