Preserving the Precious Gift of Sight

Overview of Research 2017

Retina Research Foundation supports an exemplary variety of programs in retina research around the world. The following is a brief recap of sites for RRF research funds in 2017, which illustrates the wide reach of RRF activities.

We hope this snapshot of current RRF research activities will pique your interest. Details about each of these scientists and programs are contained within this site.

2017 RRF Pilot Study Grants – Investigation of New Research Topics

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Samuel Wu, PhD – Kayser Research Project

Milan Jamrich, PhD – Lawrence Research Project

Rui Chen, PhD – Manning Research Project

Graeme Mardon, PhD – Miller Research Project

Richard Hurwitz, MD – Wilson Research Project

UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Louise Strong, MD – Humble Research Project

Texas A&M Health Science Center, Temple, TX

 Lih Kuo, PhD – Gueymard Research Project

UT Medical Branch-Galveston, Galveston, TX

Wenbo Zhang, PhD – Bovay Research Grant

University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

 Curtis Brandt, PhD – Murfee Macular Degeneration Project

Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN

Timothy Corson, PhD – Basic Research Grant

John Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Wolfgang Baehr, PhD – Basic Research Grant

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Paul Shin-Hyun Park, PhD – Basic Research Grant

RRF Macula Research Project

Administered by The Macula Society

2017    Mary Elizabeth Hartnett, MD – Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

2016    Christine A. Curcio, PhD – University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

2015     Robyn Guymer, MD – University of Melbourne Centre for Eye Research Australia


Established Awards – Awards Recognizing Lifetime Achievement

RRF Award of Merit – Presented by The Retina Society

2016     Steve Charles, MD  – Charles Retina Institute, Germantown, TN

2015     Thomas W. Gardner, MD – Kellogg Eye Center, Ann Arbor, MI


RRF Kayser International Award – Presented by International Society of Eye Researchers (ISER)

2016   King-Wai Yau, PhD – Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

2014    Robert E. Marc, PhD – John A. Moran Eye Center, Salt Lake City, UT

RRF Pyron Award – Presented by American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS)

  2016    Donald J. D’Amico, MD – Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY

2015     Gary W. Abrams, MD – Kresge Eye Institute, Detroit, MI


CL Schepens MD/AAO Award – Co-sponsored by RRF and Schepens International Society (SIS)

2016     Harry W. Flynn, Jr, MD – Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, FL

2015      Mark Blumenkranz, MD – Byers Eye Institute at Stanford, Palo Alto, CA


RRF Gonin Lecturer

2016     Thomas W. Gardner, MD – Kellogg Eye Center, Ann Arbor, MI

2014      Frank G. Holz, MD – University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany

Gonin Medalist

2014     Alice R. McPherson, MD – Baylor College of Medicine and RRF, Houston, TX

Paul Kayser/RRF Global Award – Administered by Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO)

2015      William Harbour, MD – Bascom Palmer Eye Institute


Research Chairs – Ongoing Proven Research Projects

University of Wisconsin and McPherson Eye Research Institute, Madison, WI

Helmerich Chair  and Associate Director, McPherson ERI – Akihiro Ikeda, DVM, PhD

RRF Chair – Nader Sheibani, PhD

Humble Distinguished Director, McPherson ERI – David Gamm, MD, PhD

Murfee Chair – T. Michael Nork, MD

Albert Chair – Christine Sorenson, PhD

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

RRF Research Chair – Ching-Kang Jason Chen, PhD


Research Professorships – Ongoing Proven Research Projects

McPherson Eye Research Institute, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Gamewell Professor – Jeremy Rogers, PhD

Matthews Professor – Bikash Pattnaik, PhD

Brown Professor – Aparna Lakkaraju, PhD

International Fellowships – Advanced Subspecialty Training

ICO – RRF Helmerich International Fellowships – Administered by International Council of Ophthalmology Foundation (ICOF)

2016   Thiago George Cabral, MD (from Brazil)

        Jose Manuel Guajardo Beroiza, MD (from Chile)

       Waheed Ibrahim, MD (from Nigeria)

 2015     Yeshigeti Gelaw Birhanu, MD (from Ethiopia)

           Nopasak Phasukkijwatana, MD, PhD (from Thailand)

           and Qisheng You, MD, PhD (from China)


Gillingham Fellowships – Administered by Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO)

2016     João Rafael de Oliveira Dias, MD (from Brazil)

        Felipe A. Valenzuela, MD (from Chile)

2015     Sergio Groman Lupa, MD (from Mexico)

                   Claudia Inés Osorio Moreno, MD (from Venezuela)


Research Initiatives – Educational and Travel Scholarships

AAO Educational Trust Fund – Administered by The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (FAAO)

Retina-related educational research programs for clinical and basic science

RRF Lawrence Travel Scholarships – Administered by The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)

2016       Twenty-two vitreoretinal scientists representing schools in fifteen states selected

2015       Twenty-two vitreoretinal scientists representing schools in fourteen states selected

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Mission of RRF

The mission of the Retina Research Foundation is to reduce retinal blindness worldwide by funding programs in research and education. As a public charity, RRF raises funds from the private sector and the investment of its endowment funds.

RRF’s 48th Anniversary

October 1, 2017