Navigation Links
BrightFocus honors 5 vision researchers

Orlando, FLThe BrightFocus Foundation today honored five outstanding scientists in the fields of macular degeneration and glaucoma, presenting them with named research awards at an event during the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

"Each year we give these awards in recognition of the most promising and forward-thinking ideas in the fields of glaucoma and macular degeneration research," said Stacy Pagos Haller, BrightFocus President and CEO. "These special grant awards are funded in honor of exceptional people who fought these diseases and wanted to support outstanding researchers."

Today's honorees come from five statesCalifornia, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, and Texas and are among 30 scientists offered a total of $3.5 million in BrightFocus grant awards this year to fight vision diseases.

Macular Degeneration Awards

Three of the awardees are studying macular degeneration, a disease that causes deterioration of the retina and can interfere with clear central vision. They are:

  • Debra Thompson, PhD, University of Michigan. Thompson is looking at special proteins that may help control inflammatory responses in the retina. This could help prevent the presence of low grade inflammation that can cause retinal damage over long periods of time. She receives $120,000 with the Elizabeth Anderson Award for Macular Degeneration Research, honoring the memory of the beloved late wife of a BrightFocus Scientific Review Committee member, Dr. Robert Anderson. Elizabeth was dedicated to helping young scientists in vision research.

  • Debasish Sinha, PhD, Johns Hopkins University. Sinha is working to understand how the disruption of certain processesknown as autophagy and phagocytosisactivates the immune system in retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) cells, which can lead to some manifestations of macular degeneration. Sinha's team has developed genetic tools to help understand how the RPE cells are modified through these cellular processes. This research receives $120,000 and The Carolyn K. McGillvray Award for Macular Degeneration Research, provided in memory of McGillvray's fighting spirit as she battled macular degeneration.

  • Douglas Vollrath, MD, Stanford University. Vollrath also is studying the genetics of RPE cells, examining how the function of these cells varies among individuals due to differences in their genes. His project may help scientists better understand why macular degeneration affects some people more than others. He receives $120,000 with the Helen Juanita Reed Award for Macular Degeneration Research, named after a beloved BrightFocus supporter and philanthropist who lived with, and supported research on, macular degeneration.

Glaucoma Awards

Two researchers received special grant awards for research on glaucoma, a group of eye diseases involving damage to the optic nerve, which limits peripheral vision and can lead to blindness if left untreated. The grant recipients are:

  • Colleen McDowell, PhD, University of North Texas Health Science Center. Glaucoma can involve increased pressure inside the eye, when eye fluid is not drained properly through the drainage structures in the front of the eye. McDowell's team is studying a novel pathway and working to understand how these drainage structures work. She receives $100,000 in grant funds with the Dr. Douglas H. Johnson Award for Glaucoma Research. This is presented annually to the top-rated research proposal in glaucoma, in honor of Dr. Johnson's years of service as chairman of the Scientific Revew Committee for Glaucoma.

  • Christopher Passaglia, PhD, University of South Florida. Passaglia is working on a smart pump that would give glaucoma researchers and clinicians an innovative system for measuring and controlling eye pressure. He receives $100,000 with the Thomas R. Lee Award for Glaucoma Research. Lee, who bequethed the annual award, was a philanthropist, farmer, and businessman who battled glaucoma.


Contact: Alice L. Kirkman
AHAF-American Health Assistance Foundation

Related medicine news :

1. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association honors Dr. Robert Baloh, M.D.
2. ASH honors Bruce R. Blazar, M.D., and Carl H. June, M.D., with 2012 Ernest Beutler Lecture and Prize
3. ASH honors Margaret A. Goodell, Ph.D., with 2012 William Dameshek Prize
4. ASH honors David Ginsburg, M.D., and Richard Aster, M.D., with 2012 Henry M. Stratton Medal
5. Argentina honors Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher for enriching scientific cooperation
6. Speech-language researcher awarded top honors
7. Kentucky receives top honors in nations capital for health IT collaboration
8. Radiation Research Society honors 2 faculty
9. Bridges to Recovery Reaches Ten-Year Milestone as Premiere, Licensed Residential Behavioral Treatment Program and Honors Founding Medical Director Dr. Terry V. Eagan
10. Washington SmartCEO Honors NET ESOLUTIONS CORPORATION (NETE) as a Best-Run Company in Greater Washington
11. The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education honors new officers, fellows, awardees
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... “While riding ... an inventor, from Bronx, N.Y. “I thought there had to be a convenient and ... the PROTECTOR. , The PROTECTOR enables disabled individuals to safely travel during cold or ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... "When I underwent ... bras were incredibly uncomfortable," said an inventor from Bronx, N.Y. "In order to ... the patent-pending RECOVERY BRA for added comfort and support. The bra is easier ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Bcureful—a ... (TSC), as well as raising public awareness of the disorder while helping to ... third donation of $35,000 to bolster progress at the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Center ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Genesis Chiropractic Software helps practice ... an agreement between the practice owner and the patient that automatically manages all ... projections. Click here to learn more. , According to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Young patients with a wide variety of dental ... Dr. Kedar S. Lele, who are pediatric dentists in Tucson, AZ . Unlike ... iPlus 2.0™ system causes minimal discomfort and bleeding to the patient during treatment and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 ... --> adds Latest Guidebook for ... of 217 pages published in November 2015 to ... online business intelligence library at . ... of the fastest growing global economies with a ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Ascendant Solutions, Inc. (Pink Sheets: ASDS ... of Directors has declared a special 1 percent stock dividend ... payable December 14, 2015, to shareholders of record December 7, ... additional shares of common stock. --> ... a strong endorsement of our confidence in Ascendant,s growth strategy ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) ... of Clinical Services, Education and Human Resources will be presenting ... Oncology Drugs: Health Plan Strategies for a Dynamic Market" on ... Fenrick , a consultant with the Cambridge Advisory Group, where ... The webinar will discuss the rapid growth ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: