netbook
desktop
mobile
tablet-landscape
tablet
phone-landscape
phone
Research to Prevent Blindness

In Memoriam: James L. Funderburgh, PhD

With sorrow, Research to Prevent Blindness notes the passing of esteemed vision researcher James L. Funderburgh, PhD, who received an RPB Stein Innovation Award in 2017 and was actively working on a project developing exosome therapy for corneal scarring. Dr. Funderburgh, Professor of Ophthalmology and Cell Biology & Physiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, received previous grants from RPB as well, including an RPB Jules and Doris Stein Professorship that led to the identification of stem cells in a layer of the cornea called the stroma. More recently, Dr. Funderburgh also participated in RPB grant review committees.

James Funderburgh

Dr. James Funderburgh at work in his lab. 

Dr. Funderburgh’s work on the cornea was inspired by his wife’s corneal disease and the desire for a treatment that would preserve vision in people with similar conditions. Dr. Funderburgh’s wife, Martha Funderburgh, is also a scientist who works in the Louis J. Fox Center for Vision Restoration, where Dr. Funderburgh served as the associate director. The two worked together for many years, with Mrs. Funderburgh serving as lab manager in the Corneal Cell Biology Lab, which Dr. Funderburgh established.

Throughout his research career, Dr. Funderburgh contributed to many important discoveries related to the cornea, ultimately enabling a personalized medicine stem cell treatment for corneal scarring.

“Dr. Funderburgh left a wonderful scientific legacy; his exceptional work will continue to impact lives for many years to come," said Brian F. Hofland, PhD. “His death is a sad loss to RPB and the entire vision science field.”

Related News: Feature Story, Top Story

RPB logo
Watch The Video

Research to Prevent Blindness Celebrates 60th Anniversary

For the past 60 years, RPB has funded groundbreaking research to prevent, treat and cure all conditions that damage or destroy sight.

Read More

 
Letter from NEI

National Eye Institute Recognizes RPB's 60th Anniversary

The NEI congratulates RPB on 60 years of accomplishments in a personal letter from the acting director.

Read More

 
CDA banner art
Watch The Video

In Their Own Words: Why the RPB Career Development Awards Matter

Thank you to our donors for supporting the RPB CDA and launching more than 200 research careers!

Read More

 
Dr. Semenza and colleague work in his lab

Research to Prevent Blindness Grantee Dr. Gregg Semenza Wins Nobel Prize in Medicine

Dr. Semenza is being recognized for his discoveries related to how cells respond to low oxygen levels, which have implications for the treatment of cancer, eye diseases and more.

Read More

 
RPB logo

RPB and Partners Award $1.2 Million In Grants for Novel AMD Research

Four new grantees received the Catalyst Awards for Innovative Research Approaches for AMD.

Read More

 
CDA 30th Anniversary book

The Career Development Award Turns 30: Celebrating a Generation of Support for Early-Career Scientists

CDA founded 30 years ago as one of the few private sources of funding aimed specifically at early-career vision researchers.

Read More

 

Subscribe

Get our email updates filled with the latest news from our researchers about preventing vision loss, treating eye disease and even restoring sight. Unsubscribe at any time. Under our privacy policy, we'll never share your contact information with a third party.