Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide (estimated to affect over 60 million people) and is generally considered to be caused by the damage of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons and the death of RGCs. Previous studies support the idea that the loss of radial peripapillary capillaries may play an important role in axonal degeneration in glaucoma. This project will use high-resolution in vivo imaging to better clarify changes in the radial peripapillary capillaries and optic nerve head in relation to neuronal damage in living eyes with experimental glaucoma. The results of the proposed work may aid in earlier diagnosis and management of this disease by providing an earlier structural marker for detecting glaucomatous damage compared with current clinical measures.
See what research we fund.
- Jason Porter, PhDUniversity of Houston (Houston, TX)ID:G2018061Collaborators:Nimesh Patel, OD, PhD; Hope Queener, MSJuly 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020GlaucomaStandard$150,000
- Benjamin Sivyer, PhDOregon Health and Science University (Portland, OR)
Glaucoma is a disease that causes the death of retinal cells that communicate with the brain. We have little knowledge of how this gradual process of cell death is influenced by other cells in the retina, and gaining insight into these mechanisms will allow us to develop new ways to treat glaucoma.ID:G2018011Collaborators:John Morrison, MD; Henrique von Gersdorff, PhDJuly 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020GlaucomaStandard$150,000
Recipient of the Dr. Douglas H. Johnson Award for Glaucoma Research
- Jeremy Strain, PhDWashington University (Saint Louis, MO)
Each of the aims of this project are directed at understanding how and where structural connections in the brain are damaged in two variants of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We discuss two known causes of white matter damage commonly seen in this population that can be detected by combining different neuroimaging and analytical techniques that we are capable of performing. This will improve our understanding of the biological correlates that characterize this disease and the subtle differences in progression between these two types of ADID:A2018817FJuly 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020Alzheimer's DiseasePostdoctoral Fellowship$149,029
- Mark Kleinman, MDEast Tennessee State University (Johnson City, TN)
We are just beginning to gain scientific insight into the power of epigenetic modifications on genome-wide transcription. In this project, we plan to study a highly significant role for histone deacetylase function in retinal pigment epithelial cell gene expression profiles and cell death in dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). These data will provide important molecular insights to enhance our knowledge of the complex intersection of aging biology, epigenetics and inflammation.ID:M2018193July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020Macular DegenerationStandard$160,000
- Ji Yi, PhDBoston Medical Center (Boston, MA)
Macular degeneration is a disease that damages the center of the eyesight and can cause blindness. The disease takes a long time to develop and gradually progresses to blinding conditions. The problem is that we don’t have the proper tools to predict when a patient’s eyesight will be damaged and when to treat the patient before the vision gets really bad. This project plans to address this problem by developing new techniques to detect disease progression.ID:M2018132July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020Macular DegenerationStandard$160,000
- Rouzbeh Amini, PhDThe University of Akron (Akron, OH)
The shape of the iris and how it deforms in response to light (ie, pupil dilation or constriction) are important factors in understanding the mechanism of glaucoma. Similar to any other tissue that deforms (eg, blood vessels or skeletal muscles), if the iris is stiffer, it deforms differently, which has been the case in some glaucoma patients. Unlike previous studies, in which surgically removed pieces of the iris were used for quantifying the stiffness, we aim to combine noninvasive imagining techniques currently used in eye clinics with a novel computer model to estimate iris stiffness. We also aim to understand how stiffening of the iris affects the shape of its comprising cells during the pupil’s responses to light, because we believe that cellular-level deformation is an important factor in the regulation of activities in those cells.ID:G2018177Co-principal Investigators:Syril K. Dorairaj, MDJuly 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020GlaucomaStandard$150,000
- Celeste Karch, PhDWashington University School of Medicine (Saint Louis, MO)
Several lines of evidence suggest that inflammation and altered function of the cell types in the brain involved in inflammation, such as microglia, represent an early and critical driver of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Our group has recently shown that a chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) found in the cell types that mediate inflammation in the brain, such as microglia, contributes to tauopathies, such as progressive supranuclear palsy, frontotemporal dementia, corticobasal degeneration, and AD. The objective of this study is to begin to determine how CXCR4 drives AD. Together, the findings from this study will define the function of a new gene that increases risk for AD and other tauopathies and will shed light on its role in disease processes.ID:A2018349SJuly 1, 2018 to June 30, 2021Alzheimer's DiseaseStandard$300,000
- William Scott, PhDUniversity of Miami, Miller School of Medicine (Miami, FL)
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in older adults in the United States. The factors that determine progression from early AMD (with little vision loss) to advanced AMD (with more severe vision loss) are poorly understood. We will use detailed clinical examinations of the eye and large-scale genetic analysis to identify new genetic factors that are associated with changes in the eye over time and with development of advanced AMD. The results of this study will improve our understanding of the AMD disease process and provide potential avenues for development of targeted therapies.ID:M2018112Co-principal Investigators:Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, PhDCollaborators:Jonathan L. Haines, PhD; Stephen G. Schwartz, MD; Jaclyn L. Kovach, MD; SriniVas Sadda, MDJuly 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020Macular DegenerationStandard$160,000
This grant is made possible by support from Dr. H. James and Carole Free.
- Magali Saint-Geniez, PhDThe Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA)
Vision loss in AMD is caused by the dysfunction and loss of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a pigmented layer of cells which support the photosensitive photoreceptors. RPE health and protective functions depend on their metabolism, the highly regulated process controlling energy production and by-products detoxification. Here we will study a novel pathogenic mechanism responsible for impaired RPE metabolism and progression to the advanced neovascular form of AMD.ID:M2018064July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020Macular DegenerationStandard$160,000
- Farid Rajabli, PhDUniversity of Miami, Miller School of Medicine (Coral Gables, FL)
The strongest risk gene identified for Alzheimer disease (AD) is APOE. However, this gene does not increase the risk for AD in every ethnic population. For example, individuals with an African ethnic background do not seem to be very affected by this variation. This is due to the fact that individuals from different races/ethnicities harbor genetic differences at the site of the APOE gene. This is why it is important to study populations separately and to take into account their genetic background, also called local ancestry, when analyzing the genetic effect on the disease. We propose to explore the relationship between local ancestry of African-American and Caribbean-Hispanic people and AD risk genes. We will facilitate the discovery of ethnic-specific genes and genetic changes increasing the risk for AD. This approach will allow us to move a further step toward personalized and precision medicine.
ID:A2018556FMentors:Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, PhD; Gary W. Beecham Jr., PhDJuly 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020Alzheimer's DiseasePostdoctoral Fellowship$150,000