RESEARCH DISCOVERY…FROM BENCH TO BEDSIDE
The Department of Ophthalmology and the Francis I. Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology are dedicated to understanding the causes and mechanisms of eye diseases, with the goals of slowing, halting, and preventing deterioration of sight.
Research that increases basic knowledge of the visual system and its disorders provides the foundation for advances in patient care. Clinical research builds on patient experiences to deepen understanding and improve outcomes. Private dollars keep laboratories at the forefront of emerging technologies, maximizing productivity.
Breakthrough and ongoing research at UCSF Ophthalmology includes Koret Vision Research Laboratories, the Francis I. Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology, student research, Core Grant Modules, and clinical trials.
UCSF ophthalmologists: Leaders in vision research
Vision science at UCSF currently ranks among the top three eye institutions nationally in receipt of grants for sight-saving research, according to a recent survey that examines National Institutes for Health (NIH) funding. U.S. News and World Report again names UCSF Ophthalmology among the top ten in the nation for patient care.
Although more than 70 percent of NIH applications are denied support, 18 UCSF clinical and laboratory scientists were awarded $7.6 million in NIH grant funds in 2009-2010, among the top five recipients in the country. New grants fund basic science and clinical projects.
Research devoted to retinal physiology and disease, glaucoma physiology and disease, and external and immunological disease demonstrate the breadth and depth of UCSF vision science.
“From basic visual sciences through the development of new therapeutic agents, devices, and procedures to the implementation of clinical trials that determine the most effective strategies for implementation locally and globally, these NIH awards allow our outstanding faculty to advance research that brings new solutions to our patients,” says Dr. Stephen McLeod, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology.
Private seed funding leveraged
The National Institutes of Health is reluctant to fund untested ideas. The process for requesting funding from the NIH is time consuming and intensely competitive. Private seed funding allows vision scientists to initiate research that tests and gathers evidence about innovative hypotheses.
Gifts to That Man May See launch many initial studies. Once the work is proven successful, vision researchers apply to the NIH for multi-year funding. That Man May See leverages every gift to help attract others.
Bridge funds speed results
Gaps in funding can stall research. Even nationally recognized scientists have grant applications denied, falling just short of a funding cut-off. An application revision guarantees a delay of at least nine months, dramatically reducing a laboratory’s capacity to cover costs.
“Bridge funding from private sources can provide a lifeline to a laboratory to keep its investigation going until federal funding is restored,” explains David Copenhagen, PhD.