World Glaucoma Week 2017: Glaucoma Research Foundation Announces $1.3 Million in Research Grants

Grants supporting innovative research will help to preserve vision and speed the cure for glaucoma — a leading cause of blindness worldwide

Article ID: 671120

Released: 13-Mar-2017 2:05 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: Glaucoma Research Foundation

  • 2017 Glaucoma Research Foundation Shaffer Grants

Newswise — March 13, 2017, San Francisco, CA - Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) marked World Glaucoma Week today by announcing $1.3 million in research grants. Glaucoma Research Foundation is funding eight researchers at prestigious universities and medical research centers with one-year Shaffer Grants, as well as the four principal investigators engaged in the multi-year “Catalyst for a Cure” biomarker initiative.

Glaucoma Research Foundation is awarding $1 million to the Catalyst for a Cure research team — 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 treatment targets 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 Research Foundation invests in innovative research to discover the mechanisms by which glaucoma causes vision loss, and to determine the best treatments to preserve vision,” said Thomas M. Brunner, GRF President and CEO. “To date we have funded more than 200 research projects to study all aspects of glaucoma, to discover new treatments and ultimately a cure. The 2017 research grants continue this important work.” he said.

Catalyst for a Cure Research Team seeks Specific Glaucoma Biomarker

The multi-year Catalyst for a Cure consortium is a collaborative research team of four principal investigators. This year $250,000 is being awarded to each researcher. The four investigators are:

Alfredo Dubra, PhD, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Stanford University School of Medicine
Jeffrey L. Goldberg, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, Stanford University School of Medicine
Andrew Huberman, PhD, Associate Professor, Departments of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology, Stanford University School of Medicine
Vivek Srinivasan, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis

The Catalyst for a Cure team has identified several specific potential new biomarkers for glaucoma. This year, the Catalyst for a Cure (CFC) researchers are taking necessary steps to move their studies from the laboratory to the clinic. This will be an exciting and important next step to further test and evaluate a new glaucoma biomarker.

The 2017 Shaffer Grants for Innovative Glaucoma Research

The 2017 research grants to explore new ideas are made possible through generous philanthropic support including leadership gifts from The Alcon Foundation, the Dr. Henry A. Sutro Family Grant for Research, Dr. James and Elizabeth Wise, The Dr. Miriam Yelsky Memorial Research Grant, and the Glaucoma Research Foundation Board of Directors. GRF’s Shaffer Grant Advisory Committee evaluates grant applications and determines the most promising projects for Glaucoma Research Foundation to fund each year. The following 2017 Shaffer Grants will be awarded at $40,000 each:

John G. Flanagan, OD, PhD — University of California Berkeley
Project: The Role of Lipoxins in Neuroprotection: A Pathway to Understanding Glaucoma

Brad Fortune, OD, PhD — Devers Eye Institute, Portland, OR
Project: Axonal Transport of Mitochondria: Developing an In Vivo Imaging Assay for Glaucoma Research

Alan L. Robin, MD — University of Maryland School of Medicine
Project: Meducation—A Randomized Controlled Trial of an Online Educational Video Intervention to Improve Technique and Adherence to Glaucoma Eye Drops

Gulgun Tezel, MD — Columbia University, New York, NY
Project: Autophagy in Neurodegeneration and Neuroinflammation in Glaucoma

Carol B. Toris, PhD — Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Project: Lowering of IOP by Improved Drainage through the Ciliary Muscle

Tara Tovar-Vidales, MS, PhD — University of North Texas HSC, Fort Worth, TX
Project: Role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in Pathologic Fibrosis in the Glaucomatous Optic Nerve Head

The 2017 Frank Stein and Paul S. May Grants for Innovative Glaucoma Research
Made possible through generous philanthropic support from Frank Stein and Paul S. May (grants of $40,000 each):

Adriana Di Polo, PhD — University of Montreal
Project: Regeneration of Retinal Ganglion Cell Dendrites: Stimulating Connections to Restore Vision in Glaucoma

Markus H. Kuehn, PhD — The University of Iowa
Project: A New Look at the Role of Microglia in 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. 2017 marks the 9th 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.

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