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Macular Degeneration Research Program

The lab of Dr. Aparna Lakkaraju

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an irreversible destruction of the central area of the retina, called the macula. The retina is the  light sensitive layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye and transmits visual information via the optic nerve to the brain. Macular degeneration leads to loss of the sharp, fine-detail, “straight-ahead” vision required for reading, driving, recognizing faces, and seeing the world in color, for example.

Macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss and irreversible blindness in Americans age 60 years and older and advanced AMD is a leading cause of irreversible blindness and visual impairment in the world. As many as 11 million Americans have some form of macular degeneration, including both early and later stages of the wet and dry forms. This number is expected to double by 2050.

Everything you need to manage macular degeneration

Program History

Since 1999, Macular Degeneration Research (MDR) has awarded nearly $35 million to support research into the causes and potential prevention strategies and treatments of macular degeneration disease. MDR is currently supporting 47 biomedical researcher projects.

Download the MDR Grants Yearbooks in PDF format and view our grantees:

Research We Have Funded

A few examples:

Learn more about the research we currently fund and the research we have funded over the years. 

Important Breakthroughs

Promising recent results by earlier BrightFocus grant awardees include:

With further research, these and other discoveries may lead to new treatments and ways of managing risk factors.

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