Glaucoma Research Foundation hosts Catalyst meeting

September 21, 2010

Scientists from around the world gathered at a recent Glaucoma Research Foundation Catalyst meeting to discuss new research ideas that could lead to a cure for glaucoma.

Scientists from around the world gathered at a recent Glaucoma Research Foundation Catalyst meeting to discuss new research ideas that could lead to a cure for glaucoma. “Bringing together leaders in the field to inspire and challenge each other will result in new ideas to attack this blinding disease,” said H. Dunbar Hoskins, Jr., MD, founding board member of Glaucoma Research Foundation and Moderator for the meeting. “Our meeting goal is to identify ideas that could impact treatment within five years.”

The meeting included two days of talks and discussion aimed at defining how the retinal nerves that transmit visual images to the brain are damaged in glaucoma. “In the process we also hope to identify possible new biomarkers to monitor the progression of disease,” Hoskins said. Biomarkers help scientists understand what makes some individuals or groups of people more susceptible to the harmful effects of disease, and may prove useful for the development of diagnostic tests and new drugs for treating glaucoma.

Meeting participants included leading scientists in the fields of neurobiology, neuroscience, ophthalmology, and genetics from Stanford University, Vanderbilt Eye Institute, University of Rochester, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Washington, Washington University Medical School, Johns Hopkins University, The Salk Institute, University College London, University of California San Francisco, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, North Texas Eye Research Institute, University of California San Diego Shiley Eye Center, University of Texas Southwestern School, and the National Eye Institute.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide affecting 70 million people.