Research News

BrightFocus Foundation Announces New Alzheimer’s and Vision Disease Research Awards

Research awarded by BrightFocus totals nearly $290 million to date across 25 countries, enabling innovative scientists from around the world to push the boundaries of Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, and glaucoma research.
  • Research News
Published on:
Two female scientists working in lab with microscope inside fume hood.

CLARKSBURG, MD (July 25, 2023) — Global nonprofit BrightFocus Foundation announced it has awarded 65 new biomedical research grants to prevent, treat, and cure Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

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

This year, 75% of new awards support early-career researchers, ensuring fresh perspectives are brought to the forefront to broaden the field of research, offering an increased return on research investment over time through novel discoveries that fuel the field. Additionally, 20% of the grants were awarded to scientists at leading institutions outside the U.S., fostering global collaboration and knowledge sharing.  

To further promote diversity and inclusivity in the field, 56% of this year’s awarded scientists are women and nearly 50% identify as a member of a non-Caucasian racial or ethnic group—critical to ensuring representation of the diverse communities we serve and to the development of personalized disease treatments.  

Funded scientists will investigate such topics as the development of dietary supplements and pharmaceutical-grade medicines to support healthier aging and to treat Alzheimer’s disease; the combined effects of risk factors like age, genetics, and diet on age-related macular degeneration; how tau pathology forms and spreads in the brain to inform future targetable pathways; stem cell therapy for early age-related macular degeneration; a new optimized form of nerve growth factor as a neuroprotective drug for glaucoma; and deep learning approaches to improve access to glaucoma clinical trials.  

"This new wave of grant awards continues to expand, strengthen, and diversify our global scientific portfolio," said President and CEO Stacy Pagos Haller. "Together, we are witnessing tremendous progress that gives hope for reversing the trajectory of these heartbreaking diseases, and these grants will play a crucial role in advancing our understanding and treatment of Alzheimer's, macular degeneration, and glaucoma." 

    "Our investment in science is made possible by our community of 600,000 donors who have witnessed the powerful impact of our bold, innovative research," said Haller. "We are immensely grateful for their unwavering support, which continues to fuel our progress and give hope to millions affected by these devastating diseases." 

    A list of the new projects is available on BrightFocus’ website. Additional details on the projects will be announced upon the completion of individual agreements with the partnering institutions and scientists. BrightFocus encourages researchers with groundbreaking ideas to apply for a 2024 grant. Application information is available at  

    Now celebrating its 50th year, BrightFocus has funded almost $290 million to date in early investigative research across more than 6,000 scientists (and two Nobel Prize winners) that include such novel breakthroughs as: 

    Learn more about the research funded by BrightFocus.

    Don't miss out.

    Receive research news and updates in the search for a cure in mind and sight.