Text Size Normal Text Sizing Button Medium Text Sizing Button Large Text Sizing Button Text Contrast Normal Contrast Button Reverse Contrast Button Switch to Spanish Language Press Room Contact Us Sitemap Sign In Register
Link to Homepage About BrightFocus
Donate Now Get Involved  
Alzheimer's Disease Research Macular Degeneration Research National Glaucoma Research

Sign up for Email Notifications
If you would like to be notified when funding or meeting opportunities are announced please click on the link below.

Sign up for new announcements.

Please add ResearchGrants@BrightFocus.org to your institution’s white list to insure that the notification is not blocked by your organization’s SPAM filters.

This email list is not sold or distributed, and serves only as an annual reminder of the availability of research support through the BrightFocus Foundation (www.brightfocus.org). Please follow instructions on the notification emails for removal requests.

BrightFocus Research Grants Funding
Grant Funding for Alzheimer's Research
Grant Funding for Macular Degeneration Research
Grant Funding for Glaucoma Research


Macular Degeneration Research
Completed Award

Dr. Ali Hafezi-Moghadam

Ali Hafezi-Moghadam, M.D., Ph.D.

Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA

Title: Role of a Novel VEGF Effector on CNV in a Model of AMD
Non-Technical Title: Controlling new blood vessel development in a laser induced model of AMD

Duration: March 31, 2007 - March 30, 2009
Award Type: Standard
Award Amount: $100,000


In this study the investigators aim to determine whether blockade of a particular molecule can reduce the formation of CNV in a laser induced model of AMD and how this molecule functions in human patients.


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in people over age 55 in the US. This disease causes a loss of central vision, making people with AMD unable to read, drive, or recognize faces. In the wet form of AMD, abnormal, leaky blood vessels develop under the retina, causing damage to the surrounding tissue. Important new therapeutic strategies target VEGF, a molecule that plays a role in producing the leakiness of the blood vessels in AMD. Since it is not completely understood how VEGF achieves these effects, the objective of this proposal is to investigate the molecular links between VEGF and retinal vascular leakage. We identified a molecule released by immune cells that is a likely culprit in the damage to retinal blood vessels, causing their leakiness. We hypothesize that VEGF is largely producing its destructive effects in AMD directly through this molecule. Our preliminary data support this hypothesis, as we find that blocking this molecule greatly reduces the size of vascular lesions formed in a laser-induced model of AMD. We propose to further investigate these molecular links in tissues from human patients. Our approach may provide a more effective and specific target for treatment, which would mean a substantial benefit to AMD patients.