Foundation Podcasts

Jan 14, 2022

Eye on the Cure Podcast

The Eye on the Cure Podcast from the Foundation Fighting Blindness provides science information, news, and insights from the world of vision and retinal diseases. The podcasts are hosted by Ben Shaberman, senior director scientific outreach, and often include conversations with guests from the research and vision communities.

To learn more about our podcasts and which platforms they are available to stream, visit the Foundation Podcasts page.

Episode 16: Ben Mehl

January 14, 2022. Podcast host, Ben Shaberman, has a fun chat with Ben Mehl, an actor with Stargardt disease who plays a completely blind librarian on the hit Netflix series "You."


Episode 15: Gordon Gund

December 10, 2021. Gordon Gund, co-founder and chairman emeritus of the Foundation, joins host Ben Shaberman to share reflections on 50 years of fighting blindness and what has made the Foundation successful in driving its mission to eradicate the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases.


Episode 14: Michael Kalberer

November 19, 2021. Michael Kalberer talks with Ben Shaberman about his perspective on living with cerebral palsy and Leber congenital amaurosis as well as his vision improvements after receiving an emerging CRISPR/Cas9 treatment in Editas' BRILLIANCE clinical trial.


Episode 13: Dave Knop, PhD

November 5, 2021. Ben Shaberman talks with Dave Knop, PhD, vice president of process development at AGTC, about how emerging gene therapies for inherited retinal diseases are manufactured for use in human studies.


Episode 12: Michael Young, PhD

October 22, 2021. Michael Young, PhD, from Harvard Medical School, joins host Ben Shaberman to talk about the latest in stem cell research for retinal diseases.


Episode 11: Silvia Sorensen, PhD

October 8, 2021. Silvia Sorensen, PhD, an associate professor at the University of Rochester in the Center for Community Health and Prevention, talks with host Ben Shaberman about mental health issues and management for people with low vision.


Episode 10: Dr. Naveed Shams, ProQR

September 24, 2021. Dr. Naveed Shams, chief scientific officer at ProQR, discusses RNA therapies and ProQR's three clinical trials targeting: Leber congenital amaurosis (a CEP290 mutation), USH2A exon 13, and retinitis pigmentosa (RHO-P23H).


Episode 9: Stephen Daiger, PhD

September 10, 2021. Stephen Daiger, PhD, Director of the Laboratory for Molecular Diagnosis of Inherited Eye Diseases at UT Houston, discusses the challenges and advancements in identifying the genetic mutations that cause retinal degenerative diseases.


Episode 8: Ben Shaberman, Genetic Testing

August 27, 2021. Host Ben Shaberman provides an overview of the Foundation's no-cost genetic testing program for people in the U.S. with inherited retinal diseases.


Episode 7: Bonnie Swenor, MPH, PhD

August 13, 2021. Host Ben Shaberman talks with Bonnie Swenor, MPH, PhD, Director of the Johns Hopkins Disability Health Research Center, about her journey from the sudden, unexpected onset of vision loss to becoming a researcher and advocate for people with all disabilities.


Episode 6: Drs. Troyk and Lane

July 30, 2021. Ben Shaberman interviews Drs. Philip Troyk and Frank Lane of the Illinois Institute of Technology about their clinical trial for the Intracortical Vision Prosthesis, a pioneering system for restoring vision to people who are completely blind.


Episode 5: Morten Bonde

July 16, 2021. Ben Shaberman chats with Morten Bonde, senior art director at Lego Group in Copenhagen and author of the book "Sentenced to Blindness — Now What?"


Episode 4: Jill Dolgin, AGTC

July 2, 2021. Jill Dolgin, the executive director of patient advocacy at AGTC, talks to Ben about her role in helping patients understand clinical research. They also discuss AGTC's current gene therapy clinical trials for X-linked retinitis pigmentosa and achromatopsia.


Episode 3: Dr. Daniel Chung

June 18, 2021. Host Ben Shaberman interviews Dr. Daniel Chung, chief medical officer at SparingVision, which is developing a gene-agnostic therapy to preserve cone vision in people with retinitis pigmentosa, Usher syndrome, and related conditions. A clinical trial launch for the emerging treatment, known as SPVN06, is planned for late 2021 or early 2022.


Episode 2: Sheila Nirenberg, PhD

May 28, 2021. Sheila Nirenberg, PhD, a professor at Cornell and founder at Bionic Sight talks with Ben Shaberman about her company's innovative optogenetic therapy which provides hope for vision restoration for people with advanced vision loss from retinal diseases. The approach has shown encouraging results in an early stage clinical trial.


Episode 1: Welcome

May 14, 2021. In the inaugural Eye on the Cure podcast, host Ben Shaberman explains why the retina is such a great target for therapy development and also provides some updates from the clinical trial frontlines.