BrightFocus Foundation Honors Scientists and Activists in Fight to Defeat Alzheimer’s and Vision Disease

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Joe Hollyfield, PhD, Stacy Haller, Jennifer Gatchel, MD, PhD, George Vradenburg standing and smiling for a photo.
From Left: Joe Hollyfield, PhD, Stacy Haller, Jennifer Gatchel, MD, PhD, George Vradenburg

Carradine Brothers Perform Musical Tribute

WASHINGTON, DC—BrightFocus Foundation, a Maryland-based nonprofit, hosted an awards dinner on June 8 in Washington, DC to celebrate some of the world’s most promising science and public advocacy to end Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

“We are driven by a fierce sense of urgency to find cures for the devastating conditions people fear most—loss of sight and loss of mind.  With the world’s population aging so rapidly, it is more important than ever to change the trajectory of these diseases,” said BrightFocus Foundation President and CEO Stacy Pagos Haller.

Seven scientists funded by BrightFocus research grants shared their latest findings, ranging from efforts to develop new technologies to monitor glaucoma to first ever crowd-sourcing in Alzheimer’s research.  Scientists featured at the event came from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of California at Riverside, Harvard Medical School, University of Florida, University of South Florida, and Human Computation Institute.

The BrightFocus Awards® were given to:

Joe Hollyfield, PhD, Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute, received the BrightFocus Award® for Scientific Impact, presented by Gene Anderson, MD, PhD, ophthalmology professor at the University of Oklahoma.

George Vradenburg and Trish Vradenburg (posthumously), the co-founders of USAgainstAlzheimer’s, received the BrightFocus Award® for Public Leadership, presented by Stacy Pagos Haller.  

Jennifer R. Gatchel, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School, was recognized as an Outstanding Emerging Scientist, an award presented by Marie Bernard, MD, deputy director of the National Institute on Aging.

Featured guests and performers included director and producer James Keach and actors and entertainers Keith and Robert Carradine.


BrightFocus Foundation funds research and promotes awareness of the devastating conditions we fear most—loss of sight and loss of mind.  The nonprofit is supporting cutting-edge research around the world to defeat Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration and glaucoma, promising science recommended by review committees of leading experts.

Event photos and video are available upon request.