BOSTON, MA June 22, 2007 - The New England Eye Center (NEEC) Department of Ophthalmology at the Tufts University School of Medicine is pleased to announce that National Glaucoma Research (NGR), a program of the American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF), has awarded a glaucoma research grant of $90,000 to Noorjahan Panjwani, Ph.D., Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine and Director of Vision Research at New England Eye Center. As a result of a competitive peer review process, Dr. Panjwani received a two-year grant to support her investigations into three cell types present in the liquid outflow pathway of the eye to better understand blockage in this pathway, a hallmark of glaucoma. Dr. Panjwani is among 13 scientists awarded a total of $1.17 million in research grants from NGR.
Glaucoma is actually a group of eye diseases in which intraocular pressure builds in the eye and causes damage to the optic nerve, the bundle of nerve fibers that carries visual information from the eye to the brain. This optic nerve damage can lead to vision loss and potentially, blindness. Medications and surgery can slow the progression of the disease, but there is no cure.
In the United States, approximately 2.2 million people age 40 and older have glaucoma, and of these, as many as 120,000 are blind due to the disease. The number of Americans with glaucoma is estimated to increase to 3.3 million by the year 2020. Worldwide, an estimated 66.8 million people have visual impairment from glaucoma, with 6.7 million suffering from blindness.
NGR was established in 1978 to fund glaucoma research and educate the public about the disease. Since the inception of the program, a total of over $14.2 million has been given to research into the causes and potential treatments of glaucoma. NGR is a program of AHAF, a nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating age-related and degenerative diseases through research and public education.
Tufts Center for Vision Research comprises of more than 30 Tufts faculty members who direct, co-direct, or collaborate in laboratory-based vision research programs. A grant from the National Eye Institute provides partial funding for the TCVR’s administration and core resource modules. The Tufts Center for Vision Research was founded through a partnership agreement between the New England Eye Center, Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University.
New England Eye Center is affiliated with the Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine. New England Eye Center is the Ophthalmology Department for the Tufts University School of Medicine. New England Eye Center is a leading academic teaching and research hospital and trains physicians from all over the world each year. New England Eye Center offers a full range of comprehensive ophthalmology including treatments for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, pediatric ophthalmology, laser vision correction and aesthetic surgery.