Glaucoma Research Foundation funds research at MCW

June 26, 2014 College News - The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and three other collaborators have received a three-year, $750,000 grant each from the Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) to study biomarkers that may indicate early signs of glaucoma.

Alfredo Dubra, PhD, Assistant Professor Ophthalmology at MCW and co-director of the Advanced Ocular Imaging Program at MCW, is one of the four collaborators of this grant. The other three are Andrew Huberman, Ph.D., of the University of California San Diego (UCSD), Jeffrey Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D., of the UCSD, and Vivek Srinivasan, Ph.D., of the University of California Davis.

Glaucoma is an ocular disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve, which can result in vision loss and blindness. The damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible, so the development of better tools for early diagnosis would offer specialists the opportunity to treat with medication and avoid vision loss.

The mission of GRF is to prevent vision loss by investing in innovative research, education, and support with the ultimate goal of finding a cure. GRF encourages collaboration between investigators. This particular project, “Catalyst for a Cure II,” expands earlier research by the same research team to identify biomarkers that allow diagnosis of glaucoma earlier than other current methods.

In the initial round of funding for the project, the collaborative team identified a series of biomarker targets, which will be individually evaluated for their association with disease onset and progression. The goal is to optimize five individual biomarkers of glaucoma for clinical validation.

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