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Success_stories

International Standard for Measuring Visual Acuity

Support of the Department of Ophthalmology at Boston Children’s Hospital in the 1980’s was critical in allowing the hospital to explore the use of Preferential Looking Testing as a method of measuring infants’ visual acuity before they were able to name symbols or read an eye chart. The fact that babies will look reflexively towards a series of black and white lines if they can resolve them is the basis of the test.

Using Stem Cells To Save Vision From Corneal Disease

Corneal stem cells play a key role in keeping the cornea transparent. Several years ago, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary researchers set out to develop an alternative to the corneal transplant by using the patient’s own tissue to regenerate the blind cornea. The first hurdle was to develop a reliable source of corneal epithelial cells. Early funding from the Lions gave MEEI the support needed to fabricate cultivated human epithelial stem cell sheets by successfully harvesting cells from a patient’s healthy eye or mouth (oral) cells.

Retinal Surgery

While every eye surgery is important, not all are equal, and when a patient with only one seeing eye suffers a retinal detachment, the stakes are at their highest. Such was the case when John (last name withheld) went to the operating room after urgently presenting to the Specialty Eye Clinic at Boston Medical Center with new flashes and floaters in his good eye. But, thanks to the new Zeiss OPMI Lumera Surgical Microscope donated by a Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund Presidential Grant, retinal surgeon Steven Ness, M.

Contact Lens to Deliver Glaucoma Medicine

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide and affects one in 10 people over the age of eighty. People suffering with glaucoma typically have to take their medication multiple times a day. With MLERFi support, researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary have collaborated with colleagues at Boston Children’s Hospital and MIT to develop a prototype drug-releasing contact lens. They demonstrated the ability of the lens to deliver a common glaucoma drug, at a therapeutic rate every day for a full month.

A Protein That Promotes Healing Of Corneal Wounds

At the New England Eye Center/Tufts University School of Medicine, MLERF grant funds resulted in the discovery of a novel protein that promotes healing of corneal wounds. Researchers were able to carry out in vitro experiments for a study which discovered a novel protein, galectin-3, that promotes healing of corneal wounds. Initial preliminary, in vitro experiments for this study were carried out using a Mass Lions Eye Research grant made to the New England Eye Center/Tufts University School of Medicine.

Study Of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

At Schepens Eye Research Institute MLERF grant funds resulted in a Study Of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). The study focused on age-related macular degeneration (AMD), pathology of the retina that occurs in two forms, wet and dry pathology of the retina that occurs in two forms, wet and dry. Wet (or exudative) AMD is characterized by the abnormal growth of blood vessels underneath the retina. These vessels leak fluid that causes detachment of the retina and loss of vision.

Development of a Novel Glaucoma Study

At the Boston University School of Medicine, MLERF grant funds were used to develop a novel method to study the way fluid flows within the eye. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. A primary risk factor for the development and blinding progression of primary open-angle glaucoma is elevated pressure inside the eye. This pressure results from a decrease in the normal flow of fluid inside the eye. The cause of this change in the flow of fluid in glaucoma remains unknown.

Success Story: First Therapy For Diabetic Retinopathy

At the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI), a MLERF grant was used in parallel investigations on the underlying mechanisms of neovascular disease (the formation of new blood vessels in the eye). Researchers focused on a protein called Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). Over the course of two decades, intense and collaborative efforts uncovered the biological underpinnings of VEGF in regulating blood vessel growth, and its role in promoting vascular disease within the eye.