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


Established Awards – Awards Recognizing Lifetime Achievement

RRF Award of Merit – Presented by The Retina Society

2017     Michael L. Klein, MD – Casey Eye Institute, Portland, OR

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


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

2018    to be awarded next in 2018

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

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

2017    Paul A. Sieving, MD, PhD – Director, National Eye Institute, Bethesda, MD

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


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

2017     Frederick L. Ferris, III, MD – National Eye Institute, Bethesda, MD

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


RRF Gonin Lecturer

2018     to be awarded next in 2018

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

Gonin Medalist

2018     to be awarded next in 2018

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)

2017      Jennifer Kang-Mieler, PhD – Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL

2015      William Harbour, MD – Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, FL


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)

2017    Linda Espinosa Cernichiaro Amejandra, MD (from Mexico)

Nilufer Yesilirmak, MD (from Turkey)

2016   Thiago George Cabral, MD (from Brazil)

Jose Manuel Guajardo Beroiza, MD (from Chile)

Waheed Ibraheem, MD (from Nigeria)


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

2017     Marcela A. Lonngi, MD (from Colombia)

Andrea Elizabeth Arriola-López, MD (from Guatemala)

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

Felipe A. Valenzuela, MD (from Chile)



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)

2017       Twenty-two vitreoretinal scientists representing schools in 16 states selected

2016       Twenty-two vitreoretinal scientists representing schools in 15 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