degeneration (AMD) ...
is the leading cause of blindness in people over 65 years of age. In the United States alone, more than 70 million people are expected to have reached this age by the year 2050. Up to 20% of individuals older than 65 and 37% by age 75 are at risk for developing AMD. Read more
This is an ongoing IRRF-funded project sponsored in collaboration with the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, New York, New York.
DURING 2009, THE LASKER/IRRF INITIATIVE LAUNCHED A PROGRAM TO EXAMINE THE ROLE OF REACTIVE ASTROCYTES IN DEGENERATIVE DISEASES OF THE RETINA AND CERTAIN FORMS OF GLAUCOMA, AS WELL AS ELSEWHERE IN THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.
Over last summer, two workshops were conducted in Woods Hole, Massachusetts (Vol.5, No.2, IRRF Newsletter), from which significant challenges were identified by a broad spectrum of research scientists, including neurobiologists, molecular biologists, biophysicists, biochemists and clinical experts on retinal and other neurodegenerative diseases. Two sets of topics (one from each workshop) were refined and clarified as six critical issues that are impeding research progress.
All members from the summer workshops, as well as scientists with expertise that could provide additional knowledge were invited to attend a follow-up meeting at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMI) Janelia Farm Research Campus on February 28-March 3, 2010, where the following areas were discussed:
• Astrocytes and other glial cells in glaucoma and other retinal diseases
• Etiology of Glaucoma
• Primary Physiological/Visual Defects in Glaucoma
• Classification of Glaucomas
• Animal Models of Glaucoma
The participants examined these key areas in half-day targeted sessions and outlined a plan to focus on research that would surmount hurdles hindering progress in this field. John Dowling, PhD, as Chair of the Initiative, directed the four scientific sessions that were followed by two targeted sessions and a report session.
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The International Retinal Research Foundation, Inc.
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Attn: Sandra Blackwood, MPA, Executive Director
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