Shaffer Research Grants

When you’re pushing for a breakthrough, novel leads are essential. Shaffer Grants provide seed funds to bold investigators whose creative projects explore promising leads and show strong potential for impact on glaucoma.

Female Researcher Working In A Laboratory
Spacing: small

Glaucoma Research Foundation’s Shaffer Grants program is an innovation incubator, attracting much-needed brainpower to glaucoma research and carrying us closer to a cure. Honoring glaucoma pioneer Robert N. Shaffer, MD, who launched the Foundation, these one-year grants provide $55,000 in seed money for collaborative projects that target one or more of our strategic research goals.

In the spirit of high-risk/high-reward discovery, we consider it vital to invest in new research that may go on to earn major government and additional philanthropic support. The National Institutes of Health and large companies may pass over brilliant young researchers with novel ideas if there is no precedent of support for their work. Armed with evidence made possible by our grants, these scientists often secure the major funding they need to bring their ideas to fruition.

Since 1978, Glaucoma Research Foundation has invested $50 million to advance knowledge through innovative research. Recipients of the first named Shaffer Grants for Innovative Glaucoma Research were announced in 2008 at the Foundation’s 30th Anniversary Benefit. To date, we have awarded close to 300 Shaffer Grants. We will continue to lead the way in research until a cure is found.

Quote Marks
“The Shaffer Grant has added to my ability to translate our drug findings into clinically usable ideas.”
Leonard Levin, MD, PhD
McGill University
“The Shaffer Grant has been transformative in allowing me to move into new research directions.”
Matthew A. Smith, PhD
University of Pittsburgh
“The Shaffer Grant helped me to obtain my first NEI grant. My research program has been able to thrive.”
Tonia S. Rex, PhD
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
“The Shaffer Grant let me pursue my research project from the start!”
Raquel Lieberman, PhD
Georgia Institute of Technology
“The Shaffer Grant provided invaluable support, enabling me to make significant strides in our research.”
Myoungsup Sim, PhD
Duke Eye Center
Spacing: small

2024 Shaffer Research Grants

Revathi Balasubramanian, Phd

Revathi Balasubramanian, PhD

Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Funded by The Dr. Henry A. Sutro Family Grant for Research
Project: Endothelin Signaling in Trabecular Meshwork and Schlemm’s Canal Development
Summary: We have identified an important signaling system in drainage structure development and will determine its mechanistic role in development using genetic models.
Kevin Chan, Phd

Kevin Chan, PhD

New York University Grossman School of Medicine
Project: Role of Insulin Resistance and Aquaporin-4 in Glaucoma
Summary: The outcomes of this study will be of impact in determining whether targeting insulin receptor signaling and water channel function in the eye and the visual pathway can be a therapeutic regimen for glaucoma.
Bryce Chiang, Md, Phd

Bryce Chiang, MD, PhD

Stanford University
Funded by the Rajen Savjani Fund for Innovative Glaucoma Research
Project: Targeted Optic Nerve Head Drug Delivery
Summary: Successful completion of this project will enable future development of paradigm-shifting optic nerve head delivery therapies for glaucoma treatment.
Cátia Gomes, Phd

Cátia Gomes, PhD

Indiana University School of Medicine
Project: Studying the Contribution of Aging to Retinal Ganglion Cell Degeneration Relevant to Glaucoma
Summary: This study will open an avenue for the identification of potential pharmacological targets and therapeutic strategies to protect retinal ganglion cells and prevent or delay the progression of glaucoma.
Meredith Gregory-Ksander, Phd

Meredith Gregory-Ksander, PhD

Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School
Project: Restoring Microglia Homeostasis as a Treatment for Glaucoma
Summary: The question we ask in this project is whether treatment with the protein sFasL after glaucoma injury could “restore” the homeostatic phenotype of activated retinal microglia and prevent the continued progression of disease.
Takaaki Kuwajima, Phd

Takaaki Kuwajima, PhD

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Funded by the Rajen Savjani Fund for Innovative Glaucoma Research
Project: Development of Immune Cell-mediated Optic Nerve Regeneration Therapy
Summary: Experiments in this study will focus on a novel combination therapy with statin and matrix bound nanovesicles (MBV), which we hope will lead to a significant advance in the identification of a novel regenerative therapeutic intervention.
Margaret Macneil, Phd

Margaret MacNeil, PhD

York College, CUNY
Funded by the Rajen Savjani Fund for Innovative Glaucoma Research
Project: Protecting the Optic Nerve with Mitochondrial Directed Peptides
Summary: We hypothesize that by preserving the mitochondrial membrane potential, cellular metabolism will be preserved, and retinal ganglion cells and their axons will be protected from damage.
Felipe A. Medeiros, Md Phd

Felipe A. Medeiros, MD PhD

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
Funded by the Zander Family Research Fund for Glaucoma Genetics
Project: Race, Polygenic Risk Scores, and Glaucoma Progression
Summary: If successful, this study will help better predict which patients are at higher risk of faster glaucoma progression, which could lead to more personalized treatment plans.
Olusola Olawoye, Md, Phd

Olusola Olawoye, MD, PhD

University of Ibadan
Funded by the Frank Stein and Paul S. May Grants for Innovative Glaucoma Research
Project: Genetic characterization of Juvenile Glaucoma in Africa
Summary: Irreversible blindness from glaucoma in the young is a human tragedy especially in resource constrained settings of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Samantha Sze Wan Shan, Phd

Samantha Sze Wan Shan, PhD

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Funded by the Frank Stein and Paul S. May Grants for Innovative Glaucoma Research
Project: MiR-17-92 Members in IOP Regulation
Summary: The goal of this proposal is to provide a preclinical proof-of-concept that increased specific microRNAs improves IOP regulation.
Spacing: small

Past Research Grants

Spacing: small

View previous years’ research grants. For information about Shaffer Grants and research reports prior to 2013, please contact Glaucoma Research Foundation.

Spacing: small

2024 | 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Spacing: medium