2017 Shaffer Research Grants

For information about Shaffer Grants and research reports prior to 2013, please contact Glaucoma Research Foundation.

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Adriana Di Polo, Phd

Adriana Di Polo, PhD

University of Montreal
Funded by The Frank Stein and Paul S. May Grants for Innovative Glaucoma Research
Project: Regeneration of Retinal Ganglion Cell Dendrites: Stimulating Connections to Restore Vision in Glaucoma
Summary: Loss of vision in glaucoma results from the irreversible death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs).
John G. Flanagan, Od, Phd

John G. Flanagan, OD, PhD

University of California Berkeley
Funded by Dr. James and Elizabeth Wise
Project: The Role of Lipoxins in Neuroprotection: A Pathway to Understanding Glaucoma
Summary: Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness and is associated with degeneration of nerves in the retina of the eye. We have discovered that in the normal eye small molecules called lipoxins, are released by cells that support and maintain the nerves.
Brad Fortune, Od, Phd

Brad Fortune, OD, PhD

Devers Eye Institute, Portland, OR
Funded by The Dr. Miriam Yelsky Memorial Research Grant
Project: Axonal Transport of Mitochondria: Developing an In Vivo Imaging Assay for Glaucoma Research
Summary: Despite astounding recent advances in technological capabilities that enable earlier and more accurate diagnosis of glaucoma, the fundamental events that lead to progressive axon degeneration in glaucoma remain incompletely understood.
Markus H. Kuehn, Phd

Markus H. Kuehn, PhD

The University of Iowa
Funded by The 2017 Frank Stein and Paul S. May Grants for Innovative Glaucoma Research
Project: A New Look at the Role of Microglia in Glaucoma
Summary: The retina and the optic nerve are populated by microglia, a cell type supporting neurons. In glaucoma activation of these cells is known to result in the production of toxic molecules that lead to neuronal destruction. However, our preliminary data suggest that suppressing the activity of these cells may not be a beneficial therapeutic strategy. We propose that the response of microglia to glaucoma damage may have two stages. There is clear evidence that activity of microglia can induce damage in glaucoma, but we propose that this is only true in late-stage disease and that during the early stages of the disease microglia exert a protective effect. We will also determine the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines during this process.
Alan L. Robin, Md

Alan L. Robin, MD

University of Maryland School of Medicine
Funded by The Glaucoma Research Foundation Board of Directors
Project: Meducation: A Randomized Controlled Trial of an Online Educational Video Intervention to Improve Technique and Adherence to Glaucoma Eye Drops
Summary: Glaucoma patients rarely report receiving instruction on eye drop technique from their doctors, and doctors have little time to instruct patients on eye drop technique.
Gülgün Tezel, Md

Gülgün Tezel, MD

Columbia University, New York, NY
Funded by The Dr. Henry A. Sutro Family Grant for Research
Project: Autophagy in Neurodegeneration and Neuroinflammation in Glaucoma
Summary: Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness affecting millions of Americans.
Carol B. Toris, Phd

Carol B. Toris, PhD

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Funded by The Alcon Foundation
Project: Lowering of IOP by Improved Drainage through the Ciliary Muscle
Summary: Our proposed research sought to understand how movement of the muscle within the fluid drainage pathway of the eye (ciliary muscle) affects the eye pressure.
Tara Tovar-Vidales, Ms, Phd

Tara Tovar-Vidales, MS, PhD

University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX
Funded by The Alcon Foundation
Project: Role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in Pathologic Fibrosis in the Glaucomatous Optic Nerve Head
Summary: In glaucoma, there is extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling of the optic nerve head (ONH).