Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala: Celebrating the heroes in glaucoma research

Glaucoma 360 is being held at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco at Union Square, and the meeting brings together celebration, innovation, and education in its efforts to eradicate glaucoma, with the Gala serving as the traditional kickoff of the event.

On Thursday evening, the Glaucoma Research Foundation kicked off the 2022 edition of Glaucoma 360 with its Annual Gala fundraiser event.

The theme of the Gala was “Celebrating the Catalyst for a Cure: 20 Years of Discovery.”

Glaucoma 360 is being held at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco at Union Square, and the meeting brings together celebration, innovation, and education in its efforts to eradicate glaucoma, with the Gala kicking off the event.

During the Gala, patients, supporters, and friends gather to celebrate individuals being recognized for their efforts in the battle against glaucoma.

At Thursday’s event, the Glaucoma Research Foundation bestowed its prestigious awards to recognize remarkable contributions by researchers and the community.

Ronald L. Fellman, MD, a glaucoma specialist, from Glaucoma Associates of Texas and The Cure Glaucoma Foundation, received the Catalyst Award .

“The Glaucoma Research Foundation is recognizing Dr. Fellman for his outstanding contributions to the field of glaucoma as a specialist, researcher, and patient advocate whose enduring dedication has improved the lives of countless people with glaucoma,” said Thomas Brunner, president and CEO of the Glaucoma Research Foundation.

The President’s Award was given to David J. Calkins, PhD, assistant vice president of Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, for his ongoing leadership and exemplary commitment to advancing glaucoma research.

“Dr. Calkins is a global expert on the development of new therapeutics based on neuronal protection, repair, and regeneration,” Brunner noted.

This year’s Visionary Award was given to Steven and Michele Kirsch of Los Altos Hills, California, for their philanthropy and as co-founders of the Catalyst for a Cure consortium dedicated to accelerating the pace of discovery toward a cure for glaucoma.

In 2021, Steven and Michele made a lead gift of $1.5 million to establish a matching challenge to provide funding for the current team of scientists focused on vision restoration. This year marks the 20th year of the establishment of the Catalyst for a Cure research consortium.

Each year, a highlight of the Gala is a live auction, with proceeds benefiting the Foundation’s Fund a Scientist Program. The goal for this year’s event was to raise $200,000 to pilot the effort.

Glaucoma 360 continues today (Feb. 11) with its 11th annual New Horizons Form, a hybrid meeting from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST. The forum brings together clinical, industry and FDA leaders in an exchange on research innovation and advances in glaucoma treatment.