Jan 25, 2023

Foundation Fighting Blindness to Host PRPH2 and Associated Retinal Diseases Workshop

Press Releases

Session to have special translational research emphasis on PRPH2 and inherited macular dystrophies.

Media Contact:
Chris Adams
Vice President, Marketing & Communications

COLUMBIA, Maryland – January 25, 2023 – The Foundation Fighting Blindness, the world’s leading organization committed to finding treatments and cures for blinding retinal diseases, in partnership with the Nixon Visions Foundation and the Shiley Eye Institute, at the University of California, San Diego, will host the free in-person PRPH2 and Associated Retinal Diseases Workshop on March 29–31, 2023, at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines in San Diego, CA. Registration information can be found at www.FightingBlindness.org/PRPH2Workshop.

The PRPH2 and Associated Retinal Diseases Workshop is designed to bring together leading experts from academia and industry, to discuss openly, and in detail, what is known about PRPH2 disease pathology, disease models, clinical characteristics, and therapeutic approaches. In addition, affected individuals and their families will attend to share their experiences with PRPH2 disease and to hear the latest developments for care, treatment, and strategies for therapies. The workshop will also serve as a launching point for the Nixon Visions Foundation sponsored funding initiative that will provide multiple annual grants to scientific teams addressing high-impact gaps in the field. 

Claire M. Gelfman, PhD, chief scientific officer, Foundation Fighting Blindness, along with Radha Ayyagari, PhD, Shiley Eye Institute, University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and Shyamanga Borooah, MD, PhD, Shiley Eye Institute, University of California, San Diego (UCSD), will serve as workshop co-chairs.

In addition, representatives from academia and industry who will address the research landscape and emerging therapies include:

  • Steve Daiger, PhD – Director, Laboratory for Molecular Diagnosis of Inherited Eye Diseases, Professor, Human Genetics Center, School of Public Health and Ruiz Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, UTHealth
  • Muna Naash, PhD – John S Dunn Endowed Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Houston
  • Vadim Arshavsky, PhD – Helena Rubinstein Foundation Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology, Duke University
  • Francois Paquet-Durand, PhD – Professor, Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Tubingen University
  • Peter Quinn, PhD – Principal Investigator and Associate Research Scientist, Columbia University
  • Fred K. Chen, MBBS, PhD – Associate Professor, Lions Eye Institute, Australia
  • Rachel Heath Jeffery, MChD, MPH – Resident, Lions Eye Institute, Australia
  • Deepak Lamba, MBBS, PhD – Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco
  • Shannon Conley, PhD – Assistant Professor of Cell Biology, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences University
  • Kari Branham, MS, CGC – Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Genetic Counselor, Inherited Retinal Dystrophy Clinic, Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan
  • Rob Collin, PhD – Principal Investigator, Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Medical Center
  • James Birtley, PhD - Principal Scientist, Epsilogen, Ltd
  • David Birch, PhD – Scientific Director, Retina Foundation of the Southwest
  • Daniel Chung, DO, MA – Chief Medical Officer, Sparing Vision
  • Eric Daniels MD, MBA – Chief Development Officer, Kiora Pharmaceuticals
  • Ash Jayagopal, PhD – Chief Science Officer, Opus Genetics


“We are privileged to be partnering with the Nixon Visions Foundation and the Shiley Eye Institute, University of California, San Diego, to bring awareness, build a community across PRPH2-related retinal disease and accelerate related research on biological and therapeutic approaches,” said Claire M. Gelfman, chief scientific officer of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. “Our hope is that through this workshop we will facilitate knowledge sharing to illuminate the current landscape and to identify key roadblocks impeding translation to therapies.”

To register for the PRPH2 and Associated Retinal Diseases Workshop and get the latest updates on the event, visit www.FightingBlindness.org/PRPH2Workshop.

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 $891 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.

About the Nixon Visions Foundation
Nixon Visions Foundation is dedicated to the support of organizations and individuals who are striving to reach their potential. Based in San Diego, the foundation provides scholarships and other funding for education, training, social welfare, public information, and research. Its newest initiative is to provide meaningful support for scientific research leading to critical treatments and, ultimately, cures for rare inherited retinal degenerative diseases through partnerships with the Foundation Fighting Blindness and UC San Diego Health’s Shiley Eye Institute, each targeting rare gene mutations such as those of the PRPH2 gene. Visit www.nixonvisionsfoundation.org.

About the Shiley Eye Institute
The Shiley Eye Institute is the only academic institution in the San Diego area with comprehensive programs for the clinical care of patients with eye disorders, cutting edge research on surgical techniques and treatments of eye diseases, education in the field of ophthalmology and innovative outreach to the community. To learn more about the Shiley Eye Institute, visit https://shileyeye.ucsd.edu/about-us.