Newswise — Rockville, Md. – The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) announced today the recipients of the 2021 Genentech Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Research Fellowships. The two recipients will each receive $40,000 to support research focused on an aspect of AMD. The 2021 recipients are Yi-Rong Peng, PhD and Kevin J. McHugh, PhD. 

Established in 2011, the Genentech Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Research Fellowships support two grants — one basic research and one translational research — of newly established investigators who are age 45 or younger at the application deadline and have received their MD, PhD or equivalent degree within the past 10 years. 

2021 recipient Yi-Rong Peng will utilize the award to further her research on decoding the molecular and evolutionary underpinnings of the cornea’s foveal specialization, with which she aims to explain the structural basis for human vision and visual defects. Peng, an assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Stein Eye Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, says the award will “provide essential funding to allow my lab to pursue a high-risk, high-reward research plan to advance the understanding of AMD.” She adds, “the preliminary data generated with the [Fellowship] will lead to future applications for federal research funding.” 

Fellow recipient, McHugh, an assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Rice University, will also advance his AMD research using this award. His proposal aims to develop an injectable controlled-release microparticle that delivers blood vessel ingrowth prevention drug at a consistent rate over an extended period to enable a single injection, rather than monthly or bi-monthly, to provide a therapeutic benefit for a minimum of one year — and possibly as long as a decade. McHugh notes that, if successful, the novel combination of biodegradable material and an ultrahigh-resolution 3D printing technique used to deliver the drug will, “reduce the frequency of administration to improve patient compliance, mitigate procedure-associated complications, and thereby improve overall patient outcomes.” 

For more information about the Genentech Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Research Fellowships, visit ARVO’s website.


# # #


The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include approximately 10,000 eye and vision researchers from over 75 countries. ARVO advances research worldwide into understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders. Learn more at

Established in 2001, the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research raises funds through partnerships, grants and sponsorships to support ARVO’s world-class education and career development resources for eye and vision researchers of all stages of career and education. Learn more at

Founded more than 40 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious and life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit