Fulbright Fight for Sight Research Award

This award in partnership with the Fulbright Commission will support pioneering research to prevent sight loss and treat eye disease at any accredited US institution chosen by the awardee.

The first award under this scheme was awarded to Dr Daniel Lipinski, a previously funded Fight for Sight PhD student at the University of Oxford. Dr Lipinski spent his Fulbright year in Professor Bill Hauswirth's laboratory at the University of Florida on the development of a viral vector to efficiently deliver genes to cone photoreceptors.

Dr Tiarnan Keenan, the holder of the second award completed his Fight for Sight-funded Clinical Fellowship at the University of Manchester. As a Fulbright Scholar, he worked with Dr Greg Hageman at the University of Utah using his unique repository of over 12,000 human eyes to discover new treatment targets for age-related macular degeneration.

The third Fulbright Fight for Sight Research Award was awarded to Dr Hari Jayaram from the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. With his award, Dr Hari Jayaram is currently studying the behaviour of molecules known as microRNAs in glaucoma in the laboratory of Dr John Morrisson at the Casey Eye Institute in Oregon. These play important roles in both normal eye function and disease; however, their role in glaucoma is currently unknown.

The fourth Fulbright Fight for Sight Research Award was awarded to Dr Christine Kiire from the University of Liverpool. With this award, Dr Christine Kiire will be looking at the impact of changes in the management of diabetes on the prevalence and severity of diabetic retinopathy in type 1 diabetes at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The fifth Fulbright Fight for Sight Research Award was awarded to Dr Shyamanga Borooah from the University of Edinburgh. Dr Shyamanga Borooah will be undertaking research into late-onset retinal macular degeneration which has many similarities to AMD at the University of California, San Diego.

The sixth award for £75,000 is offered for a period of 12 months beginning in the academic year 2017/18. Application forms are available from the Fulbright Commission.

The call for applications is now open. Deadlines for submissions are 6 November 2018. For shortlisted candidates, interviews will be held in January/ February 2019, with a decision reached in February 2019. Further information can be found on the Fulbright Website.

Dr Mandeep Sagoo, a Senior Lecturer in Ophthalmology and Consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Barts and the London NHS Trust, received the Fulbright Award in 2005 enabling him to spend a year working at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia specialising in the management of eye cancer in adults and children.

He said of the experience: "Since the early stages of my career I have been interested in working in ocular oncology. Receiving the Fulbright Award provided an invaluable opportunity to work alongside prominent researchers in my field and to collaborate with research centres around the world."

For further details please contact Dr Steven Smith, Grants Team at Fight for Sight on 020 7264 3907 or email grants@fightforsight.org.uk

 Prospective applicants are encouraged to sign up for US-UK Fulbright Commissions Award Bulletin, which will provide further information and guidance during the application process.