Recently@Retina Newsletter December 2023

December 26, 2023


December 2023

The mission of the Retina Foundation of the Southwest is to prevent vision loss and restore sight through innovative research and treatment for pediatric eye conditions, inherited eye diseases, and age-related macular degeneration.


A Message from Dr. Karl Csaky

November 2023 Recently At Retina Newsletter Img 01

This year has been filled with significant achievements vital for the Retina Foundation to remain at the forefront of research to save sight. As 2023 began, I laid out my strategic goals and everyone stepped up to the challenge and helped knock them out of the park one by one.

The Henderson Ocular Stem Cell Laboratory enrolled a sibling pair in a first-of-its-kind investigation of the role patient-derived stem cells play in finding AMD treatments. Mark Pennesi, MD, PhD, a world expert in Inherited Retinal Degenerations, has started and is expanding the Rose-Silverthorne Retinal Degenerations Laboratory portfolio of innovative clinical trials to treat these blinding conditions.

As the year comes to a close, I want to personally thank each and every one of you who has made generous contributions. Some of you gave of your time participating in clinical trials and volunteering. Others of you, such as our dedicated employees, scientists, and consulting professionals, gave of your expertise. Many of you showed your support through financial means. If you have not yet given this year, I encourage you to do so today.

Each gift is essential in reaching our common goal to prevent vision loss and restore sight.

March 2024 Recentlyretina Newsletter (1) Img 01


October 2023 Recently At Retina Newsletter Img 03

Reclaiming Vision: How Gene Therapy, Stem Cell Research and Gene Editing are Transforming Treatments for All Retinal Diseases

A record number of business and community leaders committed to innovative research for the prevention and restoration of vision loss gathered for the Retina Foundation’s November Eye on Innovation, The Series. The lecture focuses on how the Retina Foundation is using transformative approaches to solve clinical challenges of saving and preserving eyesight by highlighting some of the Foundation’s key areas and achievements for the year as well as offering a view of what future research and treatments are on the horizon.

Karl Csaky, MD, PhD, Chief Executive and Medical Officer of the Retina Foundation and Mark Pennesi, MD, PhD, Director of Ophthalmic Genetics, Retina Foundation, Kenneth C. Swan Endowed Professor in Opthalmology and Chief of the Paul H. Casey Ophthalmic Genetics Division, Casey Eye Institute shared their vision for the next generation of eye care.

Moderated by W. Stephen Love, President and Chief Executive Officer, DFW Hospital Council, the panel discussed how gene therapy, stem cell research and gene editing will be transformational for the treatment of eye diseases in the future.


December 2023 Recently At Retina Newsletter Img 06
We welcomed Dr. Mark Pennesi back to Dallas and the Retina Foundation where he will expand our center of excellence in developing innovative solutions to treat retinal diseases with our team of experts.

Your Annual Fund Commitment Provides Hope Give Today Before the Year Ends

November 2023 Recently At Retina Newsletter Img 10

Sisters Jeanne and Diane with Dr. Sripathi

The Retina Foundation is at the forefront of stem cell research for retinal diseases and is honored to have enrolled the first siblings in our study to uncover impactful solutions to Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). As a progressive eye disease, AMD causes people to lose their ability to read, drive a car and recognize the faces of loved ones.

Jeanne has been diagnosed with AMD, but her sister, Diane, has not. They both witnessed their mother lose her vision because of AMD. From their blood draws, Dr. Sri Sripathi, Director of the Henderson Ocular Stem Cell Laboratory, can analyze why only one of the sisters has AMD even though they both have the genetic factor for the disease. Researchers can test the effectiveness of medicine that’s been FDA-approved on one individual’s stem cells. Researchers also aim to take patients’ cells, modify the genes and attempt to reverse vision loss.

November 2023 Recently At Retina Newsletter Img 11

Retina Foundation scientist shows the sisters their cells in preparation for genetic analysis.

She continued, “It’s amazing what Dr. Csaky and the Retina Foundation have taught me about macular degeneration. I know so much more than my friends with different doctors.” The sisters encourage others with AMD to contact the Retina Foundation to learn more and receive treatment from the best doctors in the world without being charged.

“I’m having a lot of fun with being the first in the world,” said Jeanne. “I know for most people ‘fun’ sounds like a crazy thing to say, but the Retina Foundation taught me more about my situation. They made me stop crying and have hope.”

An estimated 18 million Americans suffer from some form of AMD. With the age 50+ population projected to double by 2050, AMD and other agerelated conditions will continue to rise. Workforce productivity and personal independence decline as macular degeneration increases, while healthcare costs and stress on families and caregivers increase. To support this worldclass and innovative research and treatment in AMD, Inherited Eye Diseases and Pediatric Eye Conditions, please make your annual fund commitment today. Thank you!



Texas Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne Visits the Retina Foundation

December 2023 Recently At Retina Newsletter Img 07

Texas House Representative, Beth Van Duyne toured the Retina Foundation and discussed our groundbreaking research in inherited eye disease, age related macular degeneration (AMD), and pediatric eye conditions. Congresswoman Van Duyen experienced first-hand the quality of care provided by the Retina Foundation when her daughter received specialized vision testing 20 years ago in our pediatric laboratory directed by Dr. Eileen Birch. Dr. Karl Csaky, CEO/CMO shared the exponential growth and scientific advancements the Retina Foundation has achieved giving insight into the commitment the Retina Foundation has to lead the development of personalized treatments and preventatives for eye disease.

December 2023 Recently At Retina Newsletter Img 08

Dr. Karl Csaky and Dr. David Birch explain how our motility course is used as an important outcome measure in clinical trials for inherited retinal conditions and AMD. Vision improvements are often more apparent during this functional assessment than during traditional vision tests.

December 2023 Recently At Retina Newsletter Img 09

Research associate, Reed Jost, explains how binocular games and movies, offered through the Crystal Charity Ball Pediatric Vision Laboratory, are helping children with amblyopia improve their vision even after the standard patching treatment becomes ineffective.


December 2023 Recently At Retina Newsletter Img 10

Dr. Yi-Zhong Wang presents the unique hyperacuity task (finding a deformed circle among a series of perfect circles) he developed to detect physical changes in the eye due to retinal disease earlier than traditional eye charts. These optotypes are used in his patented mobile app, myVisionTrack, to monitor vision and alert the patient’s Dr. to changes while avoiding unnecessary visits to the clinic.

December 2023 Recently At Retina Newsletter Img 11

Dr. Csaky introduces the director of the Retina Foundation’s newly opened Henderson Ocular Stem Cell Laboratory, Dr. Srinivasa Sripathi, who describes his ground-breaking creation of patientspecific “baby-retinas.” A blood sample is taken from a patient with AMD and from their unaffected sibling. Through an advanced process, stem cells from this sample are re-programmed to grow lab eyes for investigating why some family members get AMD while others don’t along with which therapeutics will be most effective.


October 2023 Recently At Retina Newsletter Img 09

December 2023 Recently At Retina Newsletter Img 12

The Retina Foundation’s Rods & Cones Foresight Circle is an impact society to support and engage in our mission.

Members may access private events with Retina Foundation leadership, special social engagements, and the first look at cutting edge research and breakthroughs.

Join the Retina Foundatoon’s Rods & Cones Foresight Circle to help us find the best treatments and cures for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Inherited Retinal Diseases, and Pediatric Vision Disorders.


December 2023 Recently At Retina Newsletter Img 13If you would like more information on joining the Retina Foundation’s Rods & Cones Foresight Circle please reach out to:

Amy Johnson



Thanks to support from individuals like you, the Retina Foundation is a world leader in research for pediatric eye conditions, inherited retinal diseases, and age-related macular degeneration. The Retina Foundation’s research remains as critical as ever. We continue to work on the development of potential treatments for patients with various eye diseases through laboratory science and clinical trials.


Please help the Retina Foundation continue

leading research and saving sight.



Recently@Retina Newsletter December 2023

Related Articles

Recently@Retina Newsletter April 2024 Honoring Dr. Albert Vaiser, Co-Founder of the Retina Foundation Recently@Retina Newsletter July 2023 Pediatric Lab Sees 10,000th Patient! Retina Foundation’s Visionary Luncheon Celebrates Life‑Changing Advancements for Innovative Research and Vision Treatment
Get the Latest Updates

Sign up to receive emails from Retina Foundation that will keep you up-to-date on our research and events.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Contact Us

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Please check all that apply:

How did you learn about the
Retina Foundation?

  • Please check all that apply:
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Contact Us

Request an Appointment

Please complete this form if you are interested in speaking to a member of our team about your AMD.

all fields required

DOWNLOAD Printable Form