BrightFocus Foundation

BrightFocus Foundation Announces $10M in New Funding Across Brain and Vision Research, Celebrates Historic Diversity of Grant Award Recipients

With over two-thirds (67%) of new grants awarded to women, BrightFocus Foundation is a preeminent funder of female scientists across eye and brain research.
  • Press Release
Published on:
Current Macular Degeneration Research grant recipient Yara Lechanteur, MD, PhD
Current Macular Degeneration Research grant recipient Yara Lechanteur, MD, PhD

CLARKSBURG, MD (April 23, 2024) – Global nonprofit BrightFocus Foundation announces $10 million in new Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma research grant funding—age-related diseases with no cure that affect more than 335 million people worldwide.

This year’s new BrightFocus grant recipients, 42 in total, are the most diverse in the charity’s 50-year history: 

  • Women comprise 67% of new grant recipients, more than double the global percentage of female researchers*, and the largest group of women funded to date by BrightFocus.  

  • 57% of new grant recipients identify as a member of a non-white racial or ethnic group. 

BrightFocus currently has 157 active neuroscience research projects, a $43 million investment, and 119 active vision research projects, a $30 million investment.  

Guided by scientific advisory committees of leading researchers in the field, the research funded by BrightFocus fosters a better understanding of the root causes of disease onset, improves early disease detection and diagnosis, and helps develop effective treatments and new drugs. 

BrightFocus funds international eye and brain research and provides free expert health information to the public; the organization has awarded grants in 25 countries across more than 6,000 scientists, an investment of nearly $300 million.  

Women and minority populations are disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, macular degeneration, and glaucoma, yet they are widely underrepresented in the field of scientific research and clinical trial participation. Grant recipients are investigating critical sex- and race-based differences in genetics, immunity, inflammation, artificial intelligence, lifestyle interventions, and more to understand how to serve and cure all populations. As part of its commitment to improving health equity in brain and vision diseases, BrightFocus has also partnered with Women’s Health Access Matters (WHAM) to drive continued progress for equitable representation in science. 

Examples of this year’s BrightFocus Foundation grant awards include:  

  • The role of the immune system in driving cognitive decline; 

  • Pioneering new vision tests to monitor the effects of treatments for age-related macular degeneration; 

  • Understanding the mechanisms underlying neuronal loss in glaucoma. 

"The research funded by BrightFocus Foundation serves as a pivotal starting point in the journey toward better health and quality of life for hundreds of millions of people across the globe,” said President and CEO Stacy Pagos Haller. “We are honored to fuel the field and support rockstar scientists on the quest to end Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.” 
Of the $10 million awarded this year, $5.6 million will go to BrightFocus’ Alzheimer’s Disease Research program, $2.8 million to its Macular Degeneration Research program, and $1.6 million to its National Glaucoma Research program. 

A list of the new research projects will be available this summer on BrightFocus’ website, with additional details forthcoming upon the completion of individual agreements with the partnering institutions and scientists.  

BrightFocus Foundation’s research programs are supported entirely by private donor contributions from the public and corporate and foundation grants; BrightFocus receives no government funding. Learn more about how to support our work

BrightFocus encourages researchers with groundbreaking ideas to apply for a 2025 grant. Application information is available at  

*Source: UNESCO 


About BrightFocus Foundation 

BrightFocus Foundation is a premier global nonprofit funder of research to defeat Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Through its flagship research programs — Alzheimer’s Disease Research, National Glaucoma Research, and Macular Degeneration Research — the Foundation has awarded nearly $300 million in groundbreaking research funding over the past 50 years and shares the latest research findings, expert information, and resources to empower the millions impacted by these devastating diseases. Learn more at

Don't miss out.

Receive breakthrough news, research updates, and inspiring stories on the search for a cure for diseases of mind and sight.