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Research to Prevent Blindness

RPB Awards $5.4 Million In Grants to Support Eye Research

RPB awarded 36 grants totaling $5.4 million during its spring grant cycle. The latest awards include unrestricted grants to departments of ophthalmology at 17 medical schools across the United States and 19 awards to individual scientists.

RPB currently funds eye research at 41 medical institutions throughout the U.S., where RPB-supported laboratories investigate the entire spectrum of eye disease, from cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy to macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and eye movement disorders. Among the newly funded investigations are: the development of a light-activated drug that potentially can arrest progressive ocular growth and macular stretching that occurs in degenerative myopia; the pursuit of less toxic alternatives to currently-used chemotherapy regimens in the treatment of retinoblastoma, an eye cancer that develops in babies; and the complete characterization of early neural changes in diabetics who do not yet show diabetic retinopathy symptoms.

Two new awards were given out as part of RPB's Low Vision Research initiative: one for the development of an economical and easy-to-use low vision screen magnifier that will enable scrolling control by means of the viewer's own gaze, rather than by using a mouse or trackpad; and one to develop new rehabilitation options for patients with cortical visual impairment, a leading cause of pediatric low vision. RPB will award additional grants in December.

Since it was founded in 1960, RPB has channeled more than $341 million into eye research.  As a result, RPB has been identified with nearly every major breakthrough in vision research in that time. 

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