Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) awarded 27 grants totaling $5.4 million during its Fall 2016 grant cycle. The latest awards include unrestricted grants to departments of ophthalmology at 17 medical schools across the United States and 10 awards to individual scientists.
RPB currently funds research at 40 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 animal models of diabetic eye disease to learn how fenofibrate, a drug clinically-approved to treat cholesterol, protects the eye from diabetes-related damage; the development of a specialized camera to capture how the retina's rods and cones (responsible for turning light energy into shapes and colors) work in health and how they fail in retinal diseases; and the exploration of mechanisms by which intestinal tract bacteria impact the health of the eye.
The first Research to Prevent Blindness/Starvos Niarchos Foundation International Research Collaborators Award was awarded to Adam Kohn, PhD, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, and his international collaborator, Samuel Solomon, PhD, of University College London. The new Award promotes international collaborations through which researchers in the U.S. and outside the U.S. gain knowledge and skills and enhance each other's work. Drs. Kohn and Solomon seek to examine how feedback signals change the activity of nerve cells in the visual cortex, and thereby influence our capacity to see.
Since it was founded in 1960, RPB has channeled more than $346 million into eye research. As a result, RPB has been identified with nearly every major breakthrough in vision research in that time. Learn more about our current and past grantees here.