Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Fingert and Tucker awarded BrightFocus grant for stem cell research

John H. Fingert, MD, PhD and co-investigator Budd Tucker, PhD have been awarded a National Glaucoma Research grant of $100,000 for their research project: Stem Cell Approaches to Glaucoma from BrightFocus (Formerly American Health Assistance Foundation).

 The overall goals of the project are to study the causes of glaucoma using stem cell biology to engineer eye tissues from patient skin samples.

The two chief goals of the project are:

  • To convert glaucoma patient skin cells into stem cells and optic nerve cells using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) methods.
  • To investigate how defects in specific genes (i.e. TBK1 gene) cause these optic nerve cells to die and patients to get glaucoma.

Fingert, John Tucker, Budd

John H. Fingert, MD, PhD (left) and Budd Tucker, PhD (right)