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Funding Results

Fighting Blindness Canada (FBC) is the largest charitable funder of vision research in Canada. On this page, you will find information on grants FBC has awarded since 2015.

Jump to: Research Grants | Clinician-Scientist Emerging Leader Awards (CSEL) | Restore Vision 20/20 | Eye on the Cure | Other Awards

Research Grants

Fighting Blindness Canada’s Research Grant Competition aims to fund research that accelerates the development and availability of treatments and cures for blinding eye diseases.

2022 Awards

Learn more about these projects

  • Rod Bremner: A platform to identify new drug targets for retinitis pigmentosa.
    Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, $200,000.
  • Balwantray Chauhan: Assessing neuroprotection in glaucoma by single retinal ganglion cell imaging.
    Dalhousie University, $192,095.
  • Anna Ells: Retinopathy of prematurity treatment database.
    University of Calgary, $8,775.
  • Julie Lefebvre: Re-wiring visual circuits to restore sight in retinal degenerative disorders.
    The Hospital for Sick Children, $200,000.
  • Stephan Ong Tone: Spatial stratification of human corneal endothelial cell populations in Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy, and implications for regenerative cell therapy.
    Sunnybrook Research Institute, $200,000.
  • Michael Salman: Investigating risk factors and prognosis in patients with septo-optic dysplasia (SOD) and optic nerve hypoplasia (ONH).
    University of Manitoba, $57,171.
  • Sachdev Sidhu: Restoring blood-retina barrier integrity with antibody-based agonists: a potential therapy for vascular retinopathies.
    University of Toronto, $200,000.
  • Ajitha Thanabalasuriar: Deciphering the role of neutrophils in the development of bacterial keratitis.
    McGill University, $216,000.

2020 awards

Learn more about these projects

  • Gregory Borschel: Novel treatments for blindness caused by neurotrophic keratopathy: role of stem cells, innervation, and therapeutics
    The Hospital for Sick Children: Research Institute, $300,000.
  • Rod Bremner: A platform to identify new drug targets for retinitis pigmentosa.
    Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, $300,000.
  • Susan Leat: Development of a new differential visual acuity test for infants with blindness and vision loss.
    University of Waterloo, $171,300.
  • Elizabeth Simpson: Intravenous rAAV MiniPromoter-PAX6 gene therapy for the congenital blindness aniridia.
    University of British Columbia, $296,747, funded by the Estate of Doreen Powles.
  • Vincent Tropepe: Function of Usher Syndrome protein PCDH15 in photoreceptor maintenance.
    University of Toronto, $177,500.
  • Michael Walter: Deciphering the first gene for pigmentary glaucoma.
    Unversity of Alberta, $216,000.

2016

Learn more about these projects

  • Michel Cayouette: Temporal identity factors: opening new avenues for cell therapy in retinal degenerations – Clinical translation.
    ICRM, $125,000.
  • Belinda Chang: In vitro assays of FFB Patient Registry RP mutations in rhodopsin: developing drug screens to rescue mutant function.
    University of Toronto, $40,000.
  • Elise Héon: Developing a strategic multidisciplinary approach to target the genetic basis of photoreceptor degeneration: a proof of principle.
    The Hospital for Sick Children, $240,000.
  • Philippe Monnier: A New Strategy to Prevent Photoreceptor Degeneration.
    Krembil Research Institute, UHN, $240,000.
  • Orson Moritz: Mechanisms of modulation of retinal degeneration in transgenic models of RP by valproic acid and histone deacetylase inhibitors.
    University of British Columbia, $240,000.
  • David Picketts: Understanding inner retinal circuitry in support of multiple retinal therapies.
    Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, $240,000.
  • Mike Sapieha: Impact of Obesity on Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
    Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Centre, $240,000.

2015

Learn more about these projects

  • Gilbert Bernier: Pluripotent Stem Cells for the Study and Treatment of Retinal Degenerative Diseases.
    Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, $240,000.
  • Sarah McFarlane: Movement of Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cells During Development and Injury.
    University of Calgary, $240,000.
  • Andras Nagy: Combined Cell and Gene Therapy Towards the Treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
    Mount Sinai Hospital, $225,000.
  • Christian Salesse: Structural and enzymatic properties of lecithin retinol acyltransferase and its involvement in photoreceptor degeneration.
    Université Laval, $225,000.

CLINICIAN SCIENTIST EMERGING LEADER (CSEL) AWARDS

Clinician-scientists play an essential role in developing new sight-saving treatments. FBC’s Clinician-Scientist Emerging Leader (CSEL) Award aims to strengthen the community of clinician-scientists by enabling the next generation of clinicians to incorporate research into their careers.

2021

Learn more about Drs Gobert, Felfeli, and Ong Tone’s projects

  • Matthew Benson (Renewal): Investigating the Effect of a PEX6 Mutation on Peroxisome Structure and Function.
    University of Alberta, $60,000.
  • Delphine Gobert: Investigating the role of microglia in retinal diseases: a key in shaping new treatments.
    Université Laval, $60,000.
  • Tina Felfeli: Improving the understanding and management of non-infectious uveitis using proteomics profiling, database studies with machine learning and decision modelling approaches.
    University of Toronto, $60,000.
  • Stephan Ong Tone: Adeno-associated virus-mediated gene therapy as a treatment for Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy.
    Sunnybrook Research Institute, $60,000.

Gobert and Felfeli are the recipients of the Andrew and Valerie Pringle Inspiring Future Vision Star award. The CSEL Awards have been made possible through the generous support of Andrew and Valerie Pringle, Dr. Peter Kertes, the Bank of Montreal (BMO) and Bayer Inc.

2020

Learn more about this project

  • Ellen Zhou: Seeing into the future – understanding the long-term sequelae of Retinopathy of Prematurity.
    Université de Montréal, $60,000, funded by the Estate of Doreen Powles.

2018

  • Brian Ballios (Renewal): Bioengineered Cell Delivery Systems for the Transplantation of Stem Cell Progeny for Retinal Regeneration.
    University of Toronto, $80,000.
  • Matthew Benson: Investigating the Effect of a PEX6 Mutation on Peroxisome Structure and Function.
    University of Alberta, $60,000.
  • Jacob Rullo: Ocular Inflammatory Modulators in Age-related Macular Degeneration: A Role for Locally Accumulating Vitamin D.
    Queens University, $60,000.

2016

  • Brian Ballios: Bioengineered Cell Delivery Systems for the Transplantation of Stem Cell Progeny for Retinal Regeneration.
    University of Toronto, $60,000.

RESTORE VISION 20/20

The goal of the Restore Vision 20/20 grant program is to support world-class research teams, to develop therapeutic approaches for late-stage retinal degeneration.

2022

Learn more about this project

  • David Gamm (renewal): Preclinical evaluation of an iPSC-derived photoreceptor therapeutic in canine models of retinitis pigmentosa.
    University of Wisconsin-Madison, $725,000.

2018

Learn more about these projects

  • David Gamm: Preclinical evaluation of an iPSC-derived photoreceptor therapeutic in canine models of retinitis pigmentosa.
    University of Wisconsin-Madison, $800,000.
  • Richard Kramer: Developing a “photo-switch” drug for light-sensitive cells.
    University of California, Berkeley, $300,000.
  • Philippe Monnier: Development of a Neogenin Based-Strategy to Prevent Photoreceptor Degeneration.
    Krembil Research Institute, $200,000.
  • Cathy Tsilfidis: Anti-apoptotic therapy for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa.
    Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, $430,000.

EYE ON THE CURE

Eye on the Cure is an unconventional competition for early-career investigators which aims to increase awareness of vision research.

2021

Learn more about these projects

  • Jovi Wong: Using a smartphone to diagnose eye disease earlier.
    University of Toronto, $50,000.
  • Stephan Ong Tone: Developing a new therapy to improve success of corneal transplantation.
    Sunnybrook Research Institute, $30,000.
  • Justin Belair-Hickey: Creating a human macula in a dish.
    University of Toronto, $10,000.
  • Etienne Benard-Seguin & Abdullah Al-Ani: Using artificial intelligence to diagnose optic neuritis more accurately.
    University of Calgary, $10,000.

Wong is the recipient of the Researcher to Watch award. Ong Tone is the recipient of the Heathbridge People’s Choice award. Belair-Hickey and Benard-Seguin, Al-Ani are the recipients of Inspiration awards.

OTHER AWARDS

Fighting Blindness Canada has awarded the following grants in alignment with our strategic objectives and in response to donor needs.

2021

  • Bob Chow: The role of complement factor D (adipsin) in the pathogenesis of the Stargardt phenotype in ABCA4-deficient mice.
    University of Victoria, $27,000.
  • Arlene Drack: Treatment of BBS10 in the mouse Bbs10-/- model using the Human BBS10 gene in 2 different vectors.
    University of Iowa, $758,117.
  • University of Toronto: J.Ardeth Hill-Fighting Blindness Canada Professorship in Ocular Genetics Research.
    University of Toronto, $1,000,000.

2020

  • Peter Campochiaro: Aspect of growth factor signaling and function in the retina and retinal pigmented epithelium.
    Wilmer Institute, Johns Hopkins University, $47,500, funded by Andrew and Yvette Marriot.
  • Robert Koenekoop: Natural History Clinical Trial for Type 1C Usher Syndrome.
    The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, $226,960.

2019

  • Arlene Drack & Elise Héon: Therapeutic approaches to BBS10-retinal degeneration: a collaborative proof of concept.
    University of Iowa & The Hospital for Sick Children, $146,756.

2018

  • Andras Nagy: Combined Cell and Gene Therapy Towards the Treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
    Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, $1,355,000, funded by Cedric Ritchie Fund to Cure Blindness.

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