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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Fight for Sight and Women's Eye Health.org Announce Joint Summer Student Fellowship Award Winner

New York, NY, August 3, 2010 - Fight for Sight today announced its 2010 winner of the Women's Eye Health.org Summer Student Fellowship award, Andrew J. McClellan, pursuing an M.D. at Baylor College of Medicine, Cullen Eye Institute, for his research project, "The effect of gender on spontaneous, age-related dry eye disease."

Affecting more than 25 million Americans, dry-eye disease is a common health problem associated with aging, but women are much more commonly diagnosed with the disease than men. McClellan's research project will focus on age-related changes in the immune system as a commonality between menopause and dry eye disease (DED), both of which are known to be significantly influenced by sex hormones. The award is a firsttime collaboration between Fight for Sight and Women's Eye Health.org, for $2,100 during the summer of 2010. McClellan's sponsor is Stephen Pflugfelder, M.D.

"Women's Eye Health.org is proud to join forces with Fight for Sight to sponsor summer student research and training in diseases that disproportionately affect women," said Women's Eye Health.org chair, Ilene K. Gipson, PhD., Senior Scientist at Schepens Eye Research Institute and Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School.

Fight for Sight's (FFS) mission is unique among eye and vision research foundations -- it identifies and funds promising students and researchers at the beginning of their academic and professional careers. The FFS grant allows awardees to obtain preliminary results and the first experience necessary to successfully apply for larger federal and foundation awards, such as the National Institutes of Health.

"The 2010 grant awardees will research a wide range of eye and vision issues that affect millions of Americans every day," said Mike Wilke, executive director of Fight for Sight. "We are pleased to offer these individuals the opportunity to pursue their goals for vision research -- often these first research studies inspire a life-long passion for eye research, as so many of our alumni have gone on to achieve great things in the field."

Over the last 64 years, Fight for Sight grants have been awarded to numerous scientists and researchers who have become major industry leaders. Just a few of the prominent alumni include: Robert Machemer, MD, the "father" of modern retinal surgery; László Bitó, PDD, who developed the glaucoma drug Xalatan; Paul Sieving, MD, PhD (1980), current Director of the National Eye Institute; and more. Since its inception, FFS has awarded over $20 million in grants to more than 3,000 eye researchers. Grantees are selected through a rigorous review process by Fight for Sight's Scientific Review Committee.

About Fight for Sight
Since 1946, Fight for Sight has invested in the future of eye and vision research by funding promising scientists early in their careers. FFS has supported over 3,000 new scientists with more than $20 million in research that has contributed directly or indirectly to major advances in ophthalmology and vision research, including development of the IOL, aspects of donor cornea preservation, various uses of ophthalmic lasers, glaucoma therapies, and gene therapy.

About Womens Eye Health.org
Formed in 2001, in response to the troubling reality that two-thirds of the world's population of blind and visually impaired persons is women. Researchers at the Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston joined forces with colleagues from the U.S. and the world to form an education and outreach program.

WEH.org celebrated World Sight Day on October 8, 2009, with vision testing and educational outreach to the Boston community. This year's theme was Gender & Eye Health - Equal Access to Sight

Click to view a video from UNC Health Care >



World Sight Day

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Key Messages
Status of Women 
Fact Sheet


Media Advisories and Public Service Announcements

In a press release dated November 15, 2002, the Women’s Eye Health.org introduced themselves to the press as a concerned group of scientists and top U.S. vision experts whose mission was to educate people that two-thirds of legally blind Americans were women, and through education, we can do something about it!


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