Newswise — March 9, 2022, San Francisco, CA — Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) today announced a total of $1.3 million in annual research grants to support 10 investigators at prominent universities across the United States.

GRF is awarding $1 million to the four Catalyst for a Cure principal investigators ($250,000 to each laboratory) to continue their investigations toward restoring vision in glaucoma. GRF one-year Shaffer Grants in the amount of $50,000 each will be awarded to six individual grant recipients to support their research into potential new treatment targets for glaucoma. This investment continues Glaucoma Research Foundation’s status as one of the nation’s leading private sources of funding for innovative glaucoma research. 

“Glaucoma Research Foundation is funding six researchers at prestigious medical research centers with our one-year Shaffer Grants,” said Andrew G. Iwach, MD, GRF Board Chair. “In addition, we will continue to fund the four principal investigators engaged in our multi-year Catalyst for a Cure Vision Restoration Initiative. With this diverse research portfolio, we are doing our best to invest in research that brings us closer to our goal of finding a cure for glaucoma and restoring vision, while at the same time developing better solutions for glaucoma patients today.”


Catalyst for a Cure Research Collaboration

“The Steven and Michele Kirsch Catalyst for a Cure Vision Restoration team continues to make excellent progress in their collaborative research,” said Thomas M. Brunner, GRF President and CEO. “The team continues to refine its approaches to retinal ganglion cell (RGC) transplantation using various glaucoma models and they are testing several treatments they have identified to improve the survival of cells. Their efforts are our best hope for a cure for glaucoma.” he said.

The four Catalyst for a Cure principal investigators are Xin Duan, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Physiology Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California, San Francisco; Yang Hu, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Stanford University School of Medicine; Anna La Torre, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis; and Derek Welsbie, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Shiley Eye Institute at UC San Diego.


The 2022 Shaffer Grants for Innovative Glaucoma Research

Each year GRF’s Shaffer Grant Advisory Committee evaluates grant applications and determines the most promising projects for Glaucoma Research Foundation to fund. These one-year grants help initiate creative research ideas, and the scientific results often lead to additional funding to continue pursuing innovative research. Following is a summary of 2022 projects the Glaucoma Research Foundation is funding at $50,000 each:

Kun-Che Chang, PhD

University of Pittsburgh

A New Therapeutic Gene for RGC Survival and Axon Regeneration in Glaucoma


Elizabeth Fini, PhD

Tufts University

Mechanisms of Steroid-Induced Ocular Hypertension


Sidney Kuo, PhD

University of Minnesota

Early Structural Changes to Müller Glial Cells in Glaucoma


Myoungsup Sim, PhD

Duke University

Primary Cilia-mediated Nitric Oxide Production in Schlemm’s Canal Cells


Brian Soetikno, MD, PhD

Stanford University

Visible Light OCT for Glaucoma


Qing Wang, MD, PhD

Columbia University

Novel Tools to Identify and Target Astrocytic Subtypes to Treat Glaucoma


More information about each research project can be viewed on the Glaucoma Research Foundation website.


About Glaucoma Research Foundation

Founded in San Francisco in 1978, Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) is America’s oldest and most experienced institution dedicated solely to its mission: to cure glaucoma and restore vision through innovative research. GRF has a proven track record of ground-breaking, results-oriented research and produces definitive educational materials used by eye care professionals across the country. The Glaucoma Research Foundation website,, provides valuable information about glaucoma to 3 million visitors annually.


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