Feb 13, 2024

Foundation Fighting Blindness Hosting Webinar for Eye Care Professionals: Best Clinical Practices for Patients with Inherited Retinal Diseases

Press Releases

The free, online event on March 20, 2024, will feature presentations from Rachel Huckfeldt, MD, PhD, Mass Eye and Ear, and Rachelle Lin, OD, Ketchum University.

Media Contact:                                              
Michelle Glaze
Director, Professional Outreach 

Organization Contact:
Chris Adams
Vice President, Marketing & Communications

COLUMBIA, Maryland – February 13, 2024 – The Foundation Fighting Blindness, the driving force in the global development of treatments and cures for blinding diseases, will host a webinar for eye care professionals on the best practices for managing their patients with inherited retinal diseases (IRDs), including retinitis pigmentosa, Usher syndrome, Stargardt disease, and Leber congenital amaurosis. This webinar will be a part of the March Envisioning a Path to Hope initiative, raising awareness among eye care professionals for the valuable resources the Foundation provides IRD patients and caregivers.

“With nearly 50 clinical trials underway for emerging IRD therapies and no-cost genetic testing available for patients, eye care professionals can do so much to help IRD patients on their challenging journeys,” says Michelle Glaze, director of professional outreach, Foundation Fighting Blindness. “We are delighted to host this informative webinar to empower eye doctors to communicate hope and a path forward for their IRD patients and families.”

The free, online course will review several topics related to the care and management of IRD patients, including:

  • Recommended functional and structural tests.
  • Potential manageable complications.
  • Genetic testing and why it is a critical element in IRD care.
  • Clinical trials for emerging therapies.
  • IRD patient registries, low vision clinics, and additional resources. 

Event Details
Date:  Wednesday, March 20, 2024
Time: 7:00–8:00 p.m. ET
Free Registration via Zoom at bit.ly/3RSWc3H

The course will be delivered by:

Rachel Huckfeldt, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and a clinician-scientist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. She completed her MD and PhD training at Washington University in St Louis with PhD research focused on retinal development. After finishing her ophthalmology residency at Mass Eye and Ear, Dr. Huckfeldt conducted postdoctoral research focused on novel therapeutics in the lab of Dr. Jean Bennett at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by clinical fellowships in medical retina (University of Iowa) and inherited retinal disorders (Mass Eye and Ear).

Rachelle Lin, OD, MS, FAAO, is an assistant professor at the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) at Marshall B. Ketchum University, where she teaches low vision rehabilitation and genetics. She treats patients in the clinical departments of Acquired Brain Injury and Low Vision Rehabilitation, where she also conducts genetic testing for inherited eye conditions. Dr. Lin received her doctor of optometry and master of science in vision science degrees from SCCO and completed her residency at VA Long Beach.

About the Foundation Fighting Blindness
Established in 1971, the Foundation Fighting Blindness is the world’s leading private funding source for retinal degenerative disease research. The Foundation has raised more than $915 million toward its mission of accelerating research for preventing, treating, and curing blindness caused by the spectrum of blinding retinal diseases including: retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and Usher syndrome. Visit FightingBlindness.org for more information.