Preserving the Precious Gift of Sight

RRF Lawrence Travel Scholarships

Sponsored by RRF, this program is administered by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research (AFER) and is made possible by a gift to RRF from Joe M. and Eula C. Lawrence.

This program provides $20,000 funding for travel awards for young vitreoretinal scientists so that they can present papers and posters at the ARVO Annual Meeting. This year the ARVO Meeting was held in May in Baltimore, MD.

2017 RRF Lawrence Travel Grant Recipients

Alec Amram, University of Texas Medical Branch, Abstract title: Vitreous and Subretinal Seeds in Retinoblastoma: Clinicopathologic Correlation

Michael Ascuitto, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Abstract title: Intermittent Systemic Hypoxia as Therapy for Vision Loss in Usher Syndrome

Rupak Bhuyan, University of Pennsylvania, Abstract title: Ceruloplasmin gene transfer into the retina causes increased retinal iron levels and retinal degeneration in ceruloplasmin/hephaestin-deficient mice

Enrico Borrelli, Doheny Eye Institute UCLA, Abstract title: Choriocapillaris changes in intermediate age-related macular degeneration with and without fellow neovascular eyes

Peter Bracha, Indiana University, Abstract title: Prospective, randomized, subject-masked evaluation of intravitreal Sirolimus vs. anti-VEGF in chronic neovascular AMD with persistent retinal fluid: 1-year follow-up

Oladipo Fagbemi, Medical College of Wisconsin, Abstract title: Foveal development in treated and untreated infants with retinopathy of prematurity observed with handheld spectral-domain optical coherence tomography

Rachel Fischer, Vanderbilt University, Abstract title: Altered potassium homeostasis in glaucoma and significance for retinal ganglion cell health

Hesham Gabr, Duke University, Abstract title: Visualization from microscope-integrated swept-source OCT in vitreoretinal surgery for diabetic tractional retinal detachment

Nermin Kady, Michigan State University, Abstract title: Overexpression of ELOVL4 stabilizes tight junctions and prevents VEGF-induced vascular permeability in diabetic retina and retinal cells.

Ryan Larochelle, New York University School of Medicine, Abstract title: Comparison of Fundus quantitative Autofluorescence (qAF) Analysis on Heidelberg Eye Explorer (HEYEX) and IGOR Pro QuantAF Software

Stephanie Lynch, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Abstract title: Catastrophic Failure in Image-Based Convolutional Neural Network Algorithms for Detecting Diabetic Retinopathy

Chandana Papudesu, National Institutes of Health, Abstract title: The Association of Mortality with Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Cataract Surgery in AREDS2.

Amit Patel, University of California San Diego, Abstract title: Wnt signaling promotes retinal ganglion cell survival and axonal regeneration in mouse models of optic nerve injury

Yueqiao (Rachel) Qu, University of California, Irvine, Abstract title: Quantified elasticity mapping of retinal tissue using acoustic radiation force optical coherence elastography

Carl Rebhun, Tufts Medical Center, Abstract title: Visualizing Relative Blood Flow Speeds in Choroidal Neovascularization Using Variable Interscan Time Analysis (VISTA-) Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCTA)

Chris Reid, Medical College of Wisconsin, Abstract title: Riboswitch-mediated modulation of transgene expression following rAAV delivery to the mouse retina

Kaushambi Roy, SUNY, College of Optometry, Abstract title: Amacrine Cell-Ganglion Cell Gap Junctional Coupling, but not Ganglion Cell-Ganglion Cell Coupling, Underlies Long Range Interactions in the Retina

Christopher Starr, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Abstract title: Chronic activation of the unfolded protein response attenuates protein synthesis in the retinas of rd16 mice

Ryan Swan, Oregon Health and Sciences University, Abstract title: Natural course and predictive value of pre-plus disease in retinopathy of prematurity: results of a multicenter prospective cohort study

Annie Wu, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Abstract title: Variation in the use of bevacizumab and ranibizumab for diabetic macular edema

Jianlong Yang, Oregon Health & Science University, Abstract title: Polarization-multiplexed, dual-beam swept source optical coherence tomography angiography

Furu Zhang, Indiana University, Abstract title: Diurnal Time Course of Cone Photoreceptor Disc Shedding in the Living Human Eye


2016 RRF Lawrence Travel Grant Recipients

Colby Argo (Ocular Imaging Research and Reading Center, University of Nebraska Medical Center)

Assessment of Change in Retinal Layers at the Macula in Glaucoma Patients and Correlation to Visual Field Index

Neda Baniasadi (Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School)

Inter-eye Asymmetry in Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thinning for Subtypes of Open Angle Glaucoma

Sumana Chintalapudi (The University of Tennessee Health Science Center)

Cacna2d1: a novel therapeutic target for lowering IOP

Tsung-Han Chou (Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami)

Neurotrophic deficiency preconditioning improves the natural history of disease in DBA/2J glaucoma

Steffi Daniel (University of North Texas Health Science Center)

RGC death in a mouse model of congenital glaucoma

Nicole De Cuir (Columbia University)

Paravascular defects and epiretinal membranes are seen on en-face slab OCT images in eyes with early glaucoma

Zachary Dong (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Ophthalmology and Visual Science Research Center)

Axonal pore paths get closer to the optic nerve center with increased depth through the lamina cribrosa

Clarisse Fligor (IUPUI)

Axonal Outgrowth and Regeneration From Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Retinal Ganglion Cells

Ralph J. Hazlewood (Vanderbilt University Medical Center)

Pharmacological investigations of angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonists reveal effective physiological concentrations in the eye after administration via drinking water

Steven Laurie (Wyle Science, Technology, & Engineering Group)

Effects of mild hypercapnia and head-down tilt on translaminar pressure and ocular structures in healthy human subjects

Margaret Maes (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

BAX Oligomerization Kinetics in Retinal Ganglion Cells after Optic Nerve Injury are comparable to in vitro Oligomerization Kinetics

Nolan McGrady (UNT Health Science Center)

ETA receptor upregulation may be associated with ERK signaling in a rat model of glaucoma

Mohammad Saleh Miri (University of Iowa)

Automated 3D Segmentation of Bruch’s Membrane Opening from SD-OCT Volumes

Jason Park (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Abnormal chromatic pupillary light reflexes in idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Shresta Patangay (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Reversal rate dependence and nasal-temporal field differences in high-luminance peripheral pattern electroretinogram (ppERG) responses in healthy human eyes

Tam Phuong (University of Utah School of Medicine, John A. Moran Eye Institute)


Alaina Reagan (OU Health Science Center/Dean McGee Eye Institute)


Loreley Robie (University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine)

Altered proteasome subunit expression correlates with vision loss in a preclinical glaucoma model

Pablo Romero (Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA)

Prediction of Retinal Ganglion Cell (RGC) Density from SD-OCT Thickness Measures and Correlation of RGC with Inner Plexiform Layer Thickness in Glaucoma

Pooja Teotia (University of Nebraska Medical Center)

Induction of pluripotent stem cells into retinal ganglion cells by recapitulating developmental mechanism in defined conditions

Pavlina Tsoka (Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, HMS)

NMDA-induced Retinal Excitotoxicity Triggers Inflammation and Inflammasome Activation in Mice

Brent Young (University of Utah)

From the retina to the brain: retinal ganglion cell subtype specific visual circuits


2015 RRF Lawrence Travel Grant Recipients

David Arroyo (University of California Berkeley)

Eleni Beli (IUPUI)

Tal Ben Ami (New York University School of Medicine)

Pooja Biswas (University of California San Diego)

Natalia Callaway (Stanford University Byers Eye Institute)

Talisa De Carlo (Tufts University School of Medicine)

Katherine Fehlhaber (University of California, Los Angeles)

Christin Hanke-Gogokhia (University of Utah)

Chi-Hsiu Liu (Harvard Medical School)

Ryan Maloney (Brown University)

Andrew Mendiola (The University of Texas at San Antonio)

Benedicte Merle (New England Eye Center)

Sarah Minton (University of Louisville)

Sriganesh Ramachandra Rao (SUNY at Buffalo and SUNY Eye Institute)

Aaron Reifler (University of Michigan)

Juliana Rosa (UC Berkeley)

Adam Rothman (Duke University School of Medicine)

Philip Ruzycki (Washington University in St. Louis)

Patrick Scott (University of Louisville)

Felix Struebing (Emory University)

Ted Warren (University of Nebraska Medical Center)

Zachary Wright (West Virginia University)


2014 RRF Lawrence Travel Grant Recipients






Kanika Agarwal     (New York University)

Oscar Carrasco     (Duke University)

Shreyasi Choudhury     (University of North Texas Health Science Center)

Irina De la Huerta     (University of California San Francisco)

Emily Deschler     (Joslin Diabetes Center)

Philip DeSouza     (Duke University School of Medicine)

Yafeng Li     (Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania)

Hua Liu    (Univ of Texas Medical Branch – UTMB)

Jesse McCann     (NYU Medical Center)

Monica Michelotti     (University of Michigan)

Debarshi Mustafi     (Case Western Reserve University)

Sarah Ohlemacher    (IUPUI)

Samir Patel     (Weill Cornell Medical College)

Rebecca Pfeiffer     (Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah)

Brian Prall     (Emory University)

Wanwisa Promsote     (Georgia Regents University)

Michael Ryan    (Oregon Health & Science University)

Ramkumar Sabesan     (University of California, Berkeley)

Kimberly Wong     (SUNY Upstate Medical University)

Yunlu Xue     (Washington Univ in St Louis)

Wan-Qing Yu     (University of Southern California)


2013 RRF Lawrence Travel Grant Recipients

The 2013 ARVO Meeting was held May 5 – 9 in Seattle, WA. Eighteen travel scholarships were awarded to these scientists:

Hsin Chien (Viral Immunology Center, Georgia State Univ.)

Janise Deming (Keck School of Medicine, Univ. Southern California)

Bradley Henriksen (University of Utah School of Medicine)

Jessica Hines-Beard (Vanderbilt University)

Francesco LaRocca (Duke University)

Hongwei Ma (Univ. of Oklahoma Health Science Center)

Olachi Mezu-Ndubuisi (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Tunde Molnar (University of Utah School of Medicine)

Ravi Parikh (Harvard University)

Alexander Port (Weill Cornell Medical College)

Joshua Pratt (University of Houston College of Optometry)

Nicole Pumariega (New York University Medical Center)

Sneha Ravi (University of Southern California)

Richard Smith (UC Santa Cruz)

Christianne Wa (USC/Doheny Eye Institute VMR Institute)

Emily Wiecek (University College London, Harvard Medical)

Natalie Wolkow (The Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine)

Amirfarbod Yazdanyar (SUNY Downstate Medical Center)


The 2012 ARVO Meeting was held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from May 6 – 10, 2012. Twenty-four travel scholarships were awarded to these scientists:

2012 RRF Lawrence Travel Grant Recipients

Nymph Chan (University of Southern California)

Mohammad Dahrouj (Medical University of South Carolina)

Jennifer A Day (VitreoRetinal Surgery, PA)

Travis S D’Cruz (Penn State University, Hershey Eye Center)

Jessica Gomez (Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA)

Chenying Guo (Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School)

Ronald Hobbs (Dean McGee Eye Institute)

Christopher K Hwang (Emory University School of Medicine)

Jean-Sebastien Joyal (Harvard University, Childrens Hospital)

Ella Hoshuen Leung (New York Eye & Ear Infirmary)

Sayak K Mitter (University of Florida)

Tomas A Moreno (Duke University Medical Center)

Sotiria Palioura (Ophthalmic Oncology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)

Pamela R Pretorius (University of Minnesota)

Tasneem Mansur Putliwala (University of North Texas Health Science Center, Eye Research Institute)

Thomas A Ray (University of Louisville)

Jesse B Schallek (University of Rochester)

Caroline W Sham (Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA)

Anuj Singla (Wayne State University)

Lauren Elizabeth Quattrochi (Brown University)

Mohamed Tarek (Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, UC Irvine)

Merina Thomas (Vanderbilt University School of Medicine)

Jordan J Toutounchian (University of Tennessee Health Science Center)

James T Walsh (University of Virginia)


The 2011 ARVO Meeting was held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from May 1 – 5, 2011. Nineteen scholarships were awarded to these scientists, chosen from a field of 259 applicants.

2011 RRF Lawrence Travel Grant Recipients

Shih-Kuo Chen (John Hopkins University)

Joao M. Furtado (Oregon Health & Science University)

Norimoto Gotoh (National Instititues of Health)

Omer Pars Kocaoglu (Indiana University)

Michal Laron (University of California Berkeley)

Kyungwon Lee (University of Oklahoma Health Science Center)

Gavin W. Roddy (Texas A&M Health Science Center)

Miin Roh (Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary)

Daniel A. Ryskamp (University of Utah)

Mahesh Shivanna (Indiana University – Purdue University Indiana)

Joel C. Sunshine (John Hopkins School of Medicine)

Pang-yu Teng (University of Illinois at Chicago)

David Andrew Terrell (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital)

Ashish Thakur (University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center)

Brian C. Toy (National Eye Institute)

Libin Xu (Vanderbilt University)

Luna Xu (Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons)

Lan Yue (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Qubo Zhu (Case Western Reserve University)

Thank you notes

A sampling of the thank you notes received from scholarship recipients, many describing the recipient’s research project or field of study:

Luna Xu

Gavin Roddy

Brian Toy

Norimoto Gotoh

Kyungwon Lee

Libin Xu

Daniel Ryskamp

Ashish Thakur

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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