Jul 17, 2018

The Foundation Fighting Blindness Presents the Emerging Science Showcase at OIS Retina 2018

Press Releases

Four research and development leaders share the latest details of their groundbreaking work in therapies for retinal degenerative diseases.

COLUMBIA, MD – July 17, 2018 – The Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) Emerging Science Showcase will lead off the upcoming Ophthalmology Innovation Summit for Retina (OIS Retina 2018), held July 20, 2018, in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Moderated by FFB COO Jason Menzo, the showcase will include representatives of academia and industry who are developing new treatments for retinal disease utilizing adeno-associated virus vectors, optogenetics, RNA, and retinal regeneration. FFB is a funder or partner for all of the projects in the Emerging Science Showcase.

“At the Foundation Fighting Blindness, we seek out the most promising research for retinal degenerative diseases. The group of research pioneers that we’re bringing together for the Emerging Science Showcase at OIS Retina 2018 are doing exactly the kind of work that advances our mission – work that will contribute to preserving or restoring sight from retinal disease,” said Benjamin Yerxa, PhD, chief executive officer at FFB.

The Emerging Science Showcase will feature four pioneers:

  • Daniel de Boer is CEO of ProQR Therapeutics, which is developing RNA treatments that target rare diseases such as Leber congenital amaurosis and Usher syndrome type 2A.
  • John G. Flannery, PhD, Photoswitch Therapeutics, professor of vision science and neuroscience at University of California, Berkeley, is developing groundbreaking next-generation approaches to optogenetics for inherited retinal degeneration.
  • David Kirn, MD, is CEO and co-founder of 4D Molecular Therapeutics, which is making advances in retinal regeneration and RNA-based gene therapies for inherited retinal diseases.
  • Thomas A. Reh, PhD, professor of biological structure at the University of Washington, focuses on retinal regeneration and photoreceptor reprogramming. Dr. Reh recently received the FFB board of directors’ award for Research Advancement of the Year for his work in coaxing the retina to develop its own new photoreceptors.

The Foundation Fighting Blindness is the world’s leading private source of research funding for preventions, treatments, and cures for retinal degenerative diseases. FFB has raised more than $725 million since its inception in 1971 to support the discovery and advancement of promising therapies for inherited retinal diseases and age-related macular degeneration.    


FFB Emerging Science Showcase at OIS Retina 2018

9:00 a.m. on July 20, 2018

Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, B.C., Canada

The mission of the Foundation Fighting Blindness is to drive the research that will bring an end to the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases including: retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, Stargardt disease, and Usher syndrome. These conditions affect more than 10 million people in the US and 150 million people worldwide. In addition to funding research at prominent academic labs, FFB is partnering with biotech and pharmaceutical companies to advance emerging therapies into and through clinical trials and out to the people who need them. The Foundation has launched a global patient registry, www.MyRetinaTracker.org, to build knowledge of retinal diseases and advance clinical research. Visit www.FightingBlindness.org for the latest information on retinal disease research. Follow the Foundation on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact: Ben Shaberman
(410) 499-9158