Newswise — March 7, 2016, San Francisco, CA - Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) marked World Glaucoma Week today by announcing $1.3 million in research grants. Glaucoma Research Foundation is funding eight researchers at prestigious universities and medical research centers with one-year Shaffer Grants, as well as the four principal investigators engaged in the multi-year “Catalyst for a Cure” research collaboration.

Glaucoma Research Foundation is awarding $1 million to the Catalyst for a Cure research consortium — principal investigators at four laboratories working collaboratively and seeking specific biomarkers for glaucoma — and eight individual grant recipients will receive $40,000 each to support research into the causes and potential new treatments for glaucoma. This investment continues Glaucoma Research Foundation’s status as one of the nation’s largest private sources of funding for innovative glaucoma research.

“Glaucoma Research Foundation invests in innovative research to discover the mechanisms by which glaucoma causes vision loss, and to determine the best treatments to preserve vision,” said Thomas M. Brunner, GRF President and CEO. “To date we have funded more than 200 research projects to study all aspects of glaucoma, to discover new treatments and ultimately a cure. The 2016 research grants continue this important work.” he added.

Catalyst for a Cure Research Team seeks Specific Glaucoma BiomarkerThe multi-year Catalyst for a Cure consortium is a collaborative research team of four principal investigators at prominent universities. This year $250,000 is being awarded to each researcher. The four investigators are:

Alfredo Dubra, PhD, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Biophysics, Department of Ophthalmology, The Eye Institute, Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee• Jeffrey L. Goldberg, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, Stanford University School of Medicine• Andrew Huberman, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neurosciences, Biology Sciences, and Ophthalmology, University of California, San Diego• Vivek Srinivasan, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis

The Catalyst for a Cure team has identified eight possible new biomarkers for glaucoma. This year their laboratories will continue to test and validate their findings using specialized high-resolution imaging equipment with the goal of developing new and better methods for diagnosing and treating glaucoma.

The 2016 Shaffer Grants for Innovative Glaucoma ResearchThe 2016 Shaffer Grants are made possible through generous philanthropic support including leadership gifts from The Alcon Foundation, the Melza M. and Frank Theodore Barr Foundation, Inc., the Dr. Henry A. Sutro Family Grant for Research, and Dr. James and Elizabeth Wise. GRF’s Shaffer Grant Advisory Committee evaluates grant applications and determines the most promising projects for Glaucoma Research Foundation to fund each year. The following 2016 Shaffer Grants will be awarded at $40,000 each:

W. Michael Dismuke, PhD, Duke University Eye Center, Durham, NC — Project: Role of Exosomes in Glaucomatous Lamina Cribrosa Remodeling

Kevin Park, PhD, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL — Project: Axon-astroglial Interaction and its Effects on Optic Nerve Repair

Cynthia L. Pervan, PhD, Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, Hines, IL — Project: Mitochondrial-specific Antioxidant XJB-3-151 as a Novel Therapeutic Strategy to Lower Elevated Intraocular Pressure

Ian Pitha, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins University, Wilmer Eye Institute, Baltimore, MD — Project: Neuroprotection through Altered Scleral Biomechanics

Carla J. Siegfried, MD, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO — Project: Pathological Alterations in the Trabecular Meshwork Following Vitrectomy and Lens Extraction: A Model of Oxidative Stress

David A. Sullivan, MS, PhD, FARVO, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA — Project: Estrogen & Glaucoma

The 2016 Frank Stein and Paul S. May Grants for Innovative Glaucoma ResearchMade possible through generous philanthropic support from Frank Stein and Paul S. May.

David T. Stark, MD, PhD, Stein Eye Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA — Project: Endocannabinoids in Retinal Ganglion Cell Regeneration

Frank Talke, PhD, University of California, San Diego — Project: Development of an Optical-based Intraocular Pressure Sensor

About World Glaucoma WeekEstablished by the World Glaucoma Association and World Glaucoma Patient Association, World Glaucoma Week is a unique initiative to help those with an interest in improved eye health to understand the devastating effects of a condition that will affect 80 million people by 2020. Experts estimate that half of the people with glaucoma are unaware of their condition and could be slowly losing their sight because their glaucoma has not been diagnosed or treated. 2016 marks the 8th year of observance for World Glaucoma Week. “World Glaucoma Week highlights this very important vision problem,” said Andrew G. Iwach, MD, Chair of the GRF Board of Directors. “At Glaucoma Research Foundation we emphasize that a comprehensive eye exam is the best opportunity for prevention. Early detection through regular and complete eye exams is the key to protecting your vision from damage caused by glaucoma.”

About Glaucoma Research FoundationFounded in 1978 and headquartered in San Francisco, Glaucoma Research Foundation is America’s oldest and most experienced nonprofit dedicated solely to its mission: to prevent vision loss from glaucoma by investing in innovative research, education and support with the ultimate goal of finding a cure. Glaucoma Research Foundation has invested more than $50 million into research and education to prevent vision loss from glaucoma. More information is available at

Contact: Andrew Jackson, Director of Communications: [email protected] (415) 986-3162.