News & Events
We want to share with you some exciting news to underscore the leveraging ability of funds contributed to That Man May See to save and restore sight. The story starts in 2008, when That Man May See pooled resources from a number of generous donors to invest $30,000 in the work of Tom Lietman, MD, and his colleagues at UCSF’s Francis I. Proctor Foundation.
As part of an ongoing study in Ethiopia to eradicate trachoma, Dr. Lietman and his research team utilized these philanthropic gifts to treat with azithromycin virtually all children under 5 in over 200 villages. The team also received support from the Bernard Osher Foundation to gather more pilot study data on this effect of azithromycin. Philanthropic generosity and the data it helped to gather enabled the researchers to apply for funds to greatly expand the clinical study.
Dr. Lietman recently shared with That Man May See confirmation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that over $12 million will continue this program into 2018.
The Gates Foundation was heartened by the results of the study – lives were saved as well as sight. In the groups of children treated with biannual oral doses of azithromycin, the investigators found that infant mortality was cut in half. Instead of 12.2 mortalities per 1,000 person years, the level dropped to 5.7 per 1,000 person years – more than 50% reduction in infant mortality in those children who were being treated for trachoma with azithromycin by mouth.
Answers to why mortality is reduced and sight saved will be the subject of the expanded research program treating babies and children in Niger, Tanzania, and Malawi – African nations beset by high rates of childhood mortality.
The research team is comprised of four UCSF faculty members: Dr. Lietman; Jeremy Keenan, MD, MPH; Travis Porco, PhD, MPH; and Bruce Gaynor, MD. Staff members include Nicole Stoller, MPH, and Sun Yu, MPH. The project will be administered by UCSF’s Proctor Foundation and conducted in conjunction with the Carter Center (Niger), Johns Hopkins University (Tanzania) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Malawi).
That Man May See is continually grateful for private “seed funding” to help initiate projects such as this one. We are honored that the Gates Foundation has greatly expanded the effort. When you make a gift to That Man May See, you provide hope that all may see.
Dr. Bruce Gaynor, Dr. Jack Whitcher, Nicole Stoller, and Sun Yu, the UCSF faculty and staff with local study team researchers in Niger. The research studies would not be possible without the help of local staff.
When their teacher had a baby born with cataracts, students from Heidi Giammona’s class at Sacred Heart School in Saratoga went into action. They studied the eye disease to learn more, and they campaigned for support to help others. Forty students, parents, and teachers from Saratoga arrived at the Koret Vision Research Laboratories to present a check to That Man May See for $14,000 to save the sight of vulnerable infants treated at UCSF. Baby Ryan and his mother are pictured with surgeon Alejandra de Alba, MD, MPH.
In the Mazzocco Surgical Suite, the students learned what surgery on tiny eyes is like as Dr. de Alba described the causes and treatment for pediatric cataracts. The first clinical trial to test the efficacy of operating on infant eyes for this condition was conducted at UCSF in 1982 by Dr. de Alba’s mentor, Creig Hoyt, MD. The research study turned the tide on blindness worldwide for millions of babies born with cataracts.
Dr. Richard Abbott, President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, receiving the International Distinguished Golden Service Award in China.
Richard L. Abbott, MD, serves as president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Holder of the Thomas W. Boyden Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology at UCSF, Dr. Abbott is a leader in international education and corneal and external diseases of the eye. Dr. Abbott reflects on being Academy president, I am honored to have been elected to represent and lead more than 31,000 ophthalmologists worldwide to improve vision care through innovation and research, improve professional education, and communicate with governmental leaders and the public the importance of ophthalmology. I’m inspired by the commitment of so many colleagues to hold the profession to the highest standards. The most exciting news in ophthalmology right now is the increasing involvement of our younger colleagues to more actively engage in efforts to improve access and quality of care as the population ages. Ongoing research, innovation, and incorporation of new technologies assist their efforts. I would like to thank my UCSF colleagues, students, staff, and patients for their gracious support, encouragement, and understanding during this very busy year.
In its 2011-12 America’s Best Hospitals survey, U.S. News & World Report ranks UCSF Ophthalmology faculty among the ten best in the country for challenging cases and procedures. The proximity of leading-edge research to quality patient care makes possible state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment at UCSF. Read the article.
UCSF Ophthalmology ranks in the top ten vision research programs nationwide in National Institutes of Health (NIH) research dollars awarded for 2010. Many of these research projects were first seed-funded by generous contributors to That Man May See.
A recently aired CNN broadcast highlights of the work of UCSF’s Dr. Tom Lietman in Ethiopia and Niger. Watch the video. Dr. Lietman is professor in residence at the Francis I. Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology at UCSF. That Man May See has helped to fund this work – and is continuing with Dr. Lietman, and his mentor Dr. Jack Whitcher, to increase support for these international efforts – that save the sight of so many vulnerable children and families.
That Man May See and UCSF Ophthalmology thank Taproot Foundation for its volunteer team who helped write, design, and deliver this new website for our organization.
To better serve contributors and patients with information about eye health, research to combat eye disease, and to stay connected, That Man May See applied to Taproot for a grant to make this new site possible. Taproot makes grants of professional pro bono consulting services by a team of business professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to help nonprofits in their communities. Special acknowledgement for That Man May See’s new website goes to Shawn Ardaiz, Lochan Chhetri, Shilpa Deshpande, Pratibha Pandit, Jennifer Randolph, and Joni Sugimura.