• Advancing Scientific Research

    The research scientists were awarded grants for their innovative research and recognition for their work in the areas of macular degeneration, gene therapy, stem cell research and neuroscience of visual pathways. They each display potential for making significant progress in understanding root causes of blindness and developing cures. Each candidate was awarded $240,000 for a three-year funding period.


    Leo A. Kim, MD, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, the Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School

    Research: “Role of Runx1 in Retinopathy of Prematurity”
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    Kira Poskanzer, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, CA

    Research: “Astrocytic modulation of primary visual cortex”
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    Rajesh C Rao, MD
    Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan

    Research: “Epigenetic dissection of hereditary macular degeneration: a stem cell approach”
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    Damon Clark, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Molecular, Cellular & Development Biology, Yale University

    Research: “How do multiple motion signals guide behavior in a small visual circuit”
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    Evan Feinberg, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy, UCSF

    Research: “Dissecting the roles of the superior colliculus and visual cortex in behavior”
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    Yvonne Ou, MD
    Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco

    Research: “Early steps of circuit disassembly in glaucoma”
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    Glenn C. Yiu, MD, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, UC Davis

    Research: “Targeted drug delivery to the retinal pigment epithelium and choroidal vasculature using optically-triggered nanoparticles”
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    Bart G. Borghuis, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anatomical Sciences & Neurobiology, University of Louisville

    Research: “Synaptic mechanisms for parallel processing in retinal circuitry”
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    Felice A. Dunn
    Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology

    Research: “Uncovering the mechanisms of circuit disassembly in the damaged mammalian retina”
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    Yang Sun, MD, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Indiana University

    Research: “Targeting inositol signaling in primary cilia to treat glaucoma”
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    Derek S. Welsbie, MD, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Diego

    Research: “Developing neuroprotective strategies that could complement pressure lowering by directly interfering with the RGC-intrinsic degeneration pathways”
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    Jeremy N. Kay, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology, Duke University Eye Center

    Research: “Cellular and molecular mechanisms that assemble retinal direction-selective circuitry”
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    Wei Wei, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Department of Neurobiology, The University of Chicago

    Research: “Understanding motion detection in the retina”
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    Sujata Rao, PhD
    Assistant Staff, Opthalmic Research, The Cleveland Clinic

    Research: “Circadian Regulation of Eye Development”
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    Kevin K. Park, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

    Research: “Novel Combinatorial Approaches to Enhance Retinal Ganglion Cell Survival and Axon Regeneration after Optic Nerve Injury”
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    Jonathan Sears, MD
    Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Cole Eye Institute

    Research: “Prevention of Retinopathy of Prematurity”
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    Yingbin Fu, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Department of Opthalmology & Visual Sciences, John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah

    Research: “Mechanisms and Treatment Strategies for Leber Congenital Amaurosis”
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    Michael R. Taylor, PhD
    Assistant Member, Chemical Biology & Therapeutics, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

    Research: “Uncovering the Role of L-type Voltage-dependent Calcium Channels in the Formation of Photoreceptor Synaptic Ribbons”
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    Jun Yang, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, The University of Utah, John A. Moran Eye Center

    Research: “Formation and Function(s) of the Usher 2 Protein Complex in Photoreceptors”
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    Stephen A. Baccus, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine, Dept. of Neurobiology

    Research: “Understanding Computation in the Interneuron Population of the Retina Using Simultaneous Multi-photon Imaging and Multi-electrode Recording”
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    David M. Gamm, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Dept. of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI

    Research: “The Role of MITF in Early Retinal Fate Determination in Human Embryonic Stem Cells”
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    Alecia K. Gross, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Dept. of Vision Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham

    Research: “Rhodopsin Trafficking in Transgenic Tadpoles”
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    Andrew Huberman, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Dept. of Neurosciences, School of Medicine and Section of Neurobiology in the Division of Biological Sciences, University of California at San Diego

    Research: “Molecular Determinants of Synaptic Target Choice in the Developing Visual System”
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Copyright ©2011 E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation for the Blind