New funds for eye research from Fight for Sight and partner charities

25 November 16

written by:

Ade Deane-Pratt

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Find out what’s in the autumn 2016 awards

Three researchers sit down together in the lab to discuss their results.

Fight for Sight has awarded over £280,000 for eye research in its autumn grants round. The funding includes the Small Grants awards, New Lecturers’ awards and four new partnerships with other leading UK charities.

NHS support

The Small Grant Awards Scheme is designed to encourage clinical research in ophthalmology and vision science. Clinical studies recruiting patients have access to NHS infrastructure and support. It’s often a great way for the research teams to gather enough data on promising new lines of research to allow them to apply for a more detailed study.

This years’ projects, to 14 universities and hospitals, include finding out what sight test and eye scan results look like for healthy under-11s, how laser therapy compares to eye drops for lowering eye pressure, studying eye infections in Malawi, how nystagmus affects depth perception and investigating the best way to prepare donor grafts for corneal transplant.

Innovative ideas

New Lecturers’ Small Grant Awards support academics to develop innovative ideas when they are newly appointed. We made 3 awards to researchers in London and Edinburgh. They will study the genetics of dry eye syndrome, x-linked retinitis pigmentosa and how cells make energy in glaucoma.

Our Joint Small Grant Awards Scheme is a collaboration with other charities in the sector. We have continued our partnerships with Birdshot Uveitis Society and National Eye Research Centre to co-fund 2 new projects with each, and are working again with Thomas Pocklington Trust to fund another study. We have also partnered this year with children’s research charity Sparks and have co-funded a project to develop a blood test to predict the risk of uveitis in children with a form of arthritis.

Toward a common goal

“We’re delighted to partner with key organisations in order to reach a common goal,” said Dr Dolores M Conroy, Director of Research at Fight for Sight. “Improving screening and early diagnosis for children who may be blinded by a complication of arthritis could make a vital difference to families and society.

We are committed to tackling the conditions that are hard to treat or have no treatment at all, such as birdshot uveitis, macular degeneration and choroideremia. And we still have a lots to learn about the way in which neurological disorders affect vision and how to help the people affected. Working together with our partners will help us to move faster towards better diagnosis and treatment for these devastating causes of sight loss.”

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