The Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund has awarded $700,000 in grants to support research projects led by the following faculty:
Beetham Eye Institute at Joslin Diabetes Center
- Paolo Silva, MD, will study computational fluid dynamics modeling of the human retinal microvasculature in order to better predict outcomes in the diabetic eye.
- Jennifer K. Sun, MD, MPH, will investigate the association of systemic disease with predominantly peripheral diabetic retinopathy lesions that have been identified on ultrawide field retinal imaging.
Boston Children's Hospital
- Ronald Hansen, PhD, working with James Akula, PhD, and Lucia Ambrosio, MD, PhD, will study the retinal structure and function in retinopathy of prematurity.
- Jing Chen, PhD, will explore the metabolism of amino acids in retinopathy of prematurity.
- Lois Smith, MD, PhD, working with Zhongjie (Kira) Fu, PhD, aims to develop an FGF21 treatment that improves normal retinal vessel growth to prevent retinopathy of prematurity.
Mass. Eye and Ear
- Paulo Bispo, PhD, will study the emergence of multidrug resistant bacterial keratitis – a painful, debilitating condition that occurs when the integrity of the corneal epithelium is breached, allowing bacteria access to the stroma.
- Lotfi B. Merabet, OD, PhD, MPH, will work to develop a novel testing platform, using virtual reality- Electroencephalogram (EEG), which will provide enhanced characterization of visual processing abilities in children with cerebral visual impairment.
- Jaya Rajaiya, PhD, will analyze the cellular mechanisms that contribute to corneal inflammation in adenovirus infection – specifically epidemic keratoconjunctivitis – in order to help design a specific therapy for the disease.
Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear
- Corinna Bauer, PhD, will implement multi-modal neuroimaging methods to help uncover the potential mechanisms underlying increased visual processing delays observed in children with perinatal brain injury.
- Tatjana Jakobs, MD, and Meredith Gregory-Ksander, PhD, are studying the role of microglia – the resident immune cells of the eye, and optic nerve – and their potential to act as glaucoma therapy.
- Eric Ng, PhD, aims to identify potent inhibitors for endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndoMT) and to determine the therapeutic potential of targeting EndoMT for choroidal neovacularization associated with wet AMD that is resistant to anti-VEGF treatment.
- Magali Saint-Geniez, PhD, will investigate the mechanism underlying the distinctive centrifugal progression of RPE atrophy in advanced dry AMD – specifically how diseased RPE spread damage to neighboring cells by affecting their metabolic state and how to target this new phenomenon for therapeutic application.