Research began at the Retina Foundation 35 years ago on July 1, 1982. We are proud of the many discoveries and innovations we have made towards saving and restoring sight. Our scale, by definition is small, but our purpose and impact is unmatched in our research on pediatric eye disorders, inherited eye diseases, and age-related macular degeneration.
■ Drs. Eileen and David Birch, the first two scientists hired in 1982, have dedicated their lives to conducting sight-saving research at the Retina Foundation of the Southwest.
■ We discovered that DHA in breast milk is necessary for infant eye and brain development. Now, enhanced baby formula containing DHA is sold worldwide.
■ We altered surgical practice through our discovery that congenital cataracts must be removed during the first weeks of life to enable normal vision and brain development. Because of our research, cataracts are now routinely removed in infants within the first six weeks of life.
■ We are the first institution to show that “lazy eye” (amblyopia) can be effectively treated with binocular iPad game play, rather than the onerous patching of the fellow eye.
■ We have characterized visual function in patients with newly identified gene mutations, paving the way to treatment through gene therapy.
■ Our home vision test and iPhone app, called myVisionTrack™, is FDA approved. This new test has the potential to prevent vision loss for seniors by providing a method for ophthalmologists to remotely monitor their patients in between appointments.
■ We were the first institution to enroll patients for a clinical trial on dry age-related macular degeneration involving adult human neural (brain) stem cells.
Our achievements to date, attained by the support from individuals, foundations, and corporations, are commendable. However, our work is not yet done. With your steadfast and passionate commitment to the Retina Foundation of the Southwest, we are confident that we will continue to achieve breakthroughs in Leading Research….Saving Sight.