Feb 27, 2024

Partnering with CIHR to Support the Future of Vision Research

Starting a research faculty career is not easy, and systemic barriers such as racism and sexism can make it that much harder. Financial support, mentorship, and career training are all essential for providing the current generation of diverse trainees the opportunity to succeed as academics and researchers.

That is why Fighting Blindness Canada is excited to partner with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) on their first Research Excellence, Diversity, and Independence (REDI) Early Career Transition Award program. Through this partnership Fighting Blindness Canada is supporting an award to Dr. Pamela Lagali (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute) who is examining models of retinal degeneration and therapeutic strategies to preserve retinal cell health.

Dr. Lagali has built an expertise in retinal degeneration and inherited retinal diseases through her training in Canada and Europe. She is one of 43 early career researchers funded through this competition, valued at $28.4 million, with awards in the areas of infectious and chronic disease, brain and mental health, aging, rare diseases, improving the health care system, and more.

As Dr. Lagali explains “This funding enables me to continue and expand my life’s work into understanding what causes retinal degeneration and developing new ways to treat it, potentially leading to translatable benefits for those with blinding diseases. I would like donors to know that it is an exciting time for vision research with many new therapies on the horizon. Importantly, their generous contributions are enabling my research and that of others towards advancing the repertoire of vision care options, an area that is otherwise greatly underrepresented in the scientific funding landscape.”

The CIHR REDI Early Career Transition Award aims to support diverse post-doctoral researchers, clinicians, and research associates over a 6-year period as they transition from trainees to independent academic or research appointments, where they can pursue independent research projects, supervise trainees and publish the results of their research.

In addition to Fighting Blindness Canada, the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the Arthritis Society of Canada, the Azrieli Foundation, the BrightFocus Foundation, JDRF Canada, and the Kidney Foundation of Canada also partnered with CIHR on this program.

To learn about other research we have funded check out our Currently Funded Research webpage.

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