BrightFocus Foundation Honors Five Researchers on Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma

  • Press Release
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BALTIMORE, MDBrightFocus Foundation today recognized five scientists in the fields of macular degeneration and glaucoma research, awarding them grants named in honor of leaders in vision research and advocacy.

The five recognized today are among a group of 31 scientists who will collectively receive nearly $5 million in vision research grants this year from BrightFocus, a record level of financial support. The awards were presented at a Baltimore breakfast event coinciding with the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

“These scientists are pursuing groundbreaking research that may help us better understand and ultimately end macular degeneration and glaucoma. Their bold, innovative efforts to save sight are a great honor to the legacies of those for whom the awards are named,” said BrightFocus President and CEO Stacy Haller.

The awards are as follows:

  • Brad Fortune, OD, PhD, of the Devers Eye Institute received The Thomas R. Lee Award for Glaucoma Research.
  • Cristhian Ildefonso, PhD, of the University of Florida received The Helen Juanita Reed Award for Macular Degeneration Research
  • Trevor McGill, PhD, of the Oregon Health and Science University received The Carolyn K. McGillvray Award for Macular Degeneration Research.
  • Sheldon Rowan, PhD, of Tufts University received The Elizabeth Anderson Award for Macular Degeneration Research.
  • Derek Welsbie, MD, PhD, of the University of California, San Diego received The Dr. Douglas H. Johnson Award for Glaucoma Research.

The names and projects of this year’s other individual grant recipients will be announced at a later date, pending completion of final agreements with researchers and supporting institutions.

BrightFocus Foundation drives innovative research worldwide and promotes public awareness of Alzheimer's, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.  For more information, call 1-800-437-2423 or visit