Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin Gift of Sight Discovery Award is Announced

Yao Liu, MD, and Stuart Tompson, PhD, received this year’s Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin (LEBW) Gift of Sight Discovery Award through an internal competition open to UW Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (DOVS) faculty and scientists. In 2015, LEBW partnered with DOVS to promote innovative research to better understand and treat blinding diseases. To date, LEBW has funded eight projects, at $50,000 each.

Dr. Liu’s research looks at low macular pigment levels as a modifiable glaucoma risk factor and provides critical data toward a future proposal to develop and test a low-cost dietary intervention to increase pigment levels and prevent glaucoma. This is part of the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (CAREDS2) investigation.

According to Dr. Tompson, he will use these funds to generate and characterize a new mouse model to study a novel cause of primary congenital glaucoma, noting that he is “hopeful these studies will prove the role of the VAV2 gene mutations as an underlying cause of this disease and will further define the biological role of the VAV2 protein within the eye.”

Past recipients include:

Paul Kaufman, MD
Kim Stepien, MD
Mihai Mititelu, MD, MPH
Melanie Schmitt, MD

Neal Barney, MD
Curtis Brandt, PhD

Gillian McLellan, PhD, BVMS
Robert Nickells, PhD