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Discovery Eye Foundation provides bridge funding for a wide range of research projects and eye diseases. Projects can include:

  • Visual mapping

  • Vaccine development

  • Genetic function

  • Treatment delivery

  • Engineering disease models

Eye diseases targeted for treatments include:

  • Age-related macular degeneration

  • Diabetic retinopathy

  • Glaucoma

  • Keratoconus

  • Retinitis pigmentosa

Current projects are listed below.


lab19-72Stem Cells and Retinal Regeneration

Retinal regeneration is a new and innovative approach to help replace damaged retinal cells using stem cells and other modalities to prevent vision loss and facilitate the restoration of lost vision. read more…


Dr. Klassen's Presentation On Retinal Cells

My current interest is in stem cells–and I've gotten kind of fond of those cells–but my main goes is repairing the retina read more…


Eradicating Ocular Herpes

DEF-funded prototype vaccine shows promise in preventing eye and other diseases. A priority of The Discovery Eye Foundation (DEF) is the research of ocular herpes (OH) and infectious blindness. In addition to causing swelling, redness, watery eye discharge, sensitivity to light, or even blisters on the eyelids, OH – or herpes of the eye – can cause severe scarring of the cornea, the transparent dome-shaped membrane that covers the center eye. read more…


Corneal Scarring & Its Prevention

Corneal transplantation is undergoing a revolution with new technologies that are being investigated to improve results, including lasers and the use of corneal stem cells. Scientists are studying the causes of corneal scarring after trauma, surgery and disease to understand the molecular causes and to harness new therapies to prevent corneal blindness. Regenerative Medicine and Biology is a new discipline being applied to the eye including the cornea as means to replace a cornea without the need for human donor corneas. read more…


Understanding Primary Open-angle Glaucoma

Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is characterized by progressive cupping of the optic disc and posterior displacement and compression of the lamina cribrosa (LC), usually associated with elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). read more…


Translational Glaucoma Research

DEF supported research into the medical and surgical treatments for glaucoma is a very important strength in the Department of Ophthalmology at University of California, Irvine. Dr. George Baerveldt has developed an FDA approved new surgical instrument and technique for treatment of glaucoma. DEF supported scientists are helping to understand why surgical treatment for glaucoma sometimes fails and are in the process of designing treatments to improve surgical results. read more…


Ocular Herpes

Ocular Herpes: Learning how to prevent ocular herpes and infectious blindness. Researchers supported by DEF have made great progress in understanding the molecular mechanisms of ocular herpes including its latency, reactivation, and scarring. Scientists continue to gain an understanding of LAT, the major virus gene active during herpes latency, including its central role in keeping the virus invisible between attacks and ways in which it inhibits the body's immune response to the herpes infection. read more…


Mitochondrial And Other Abnormalities In Keratoconus

Ongoing research conducted by scientists at the Morris S. Pynoos Eye Research Laboratories at the University of California, Irvine, and the UCI Center for Molecular and Mitochondrial Medicine and Genetics, is leading to a better understanding of the ways to prevent programmed cell death or "apoptosis," which is the cause of many ocular diseases. The new field of mitochondrial research is aimed in great part at understanding how to prevent this cell death that is found in the aging and many diseases. read more..