Charity’s £160k boost for sight loss research

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5th September 2017 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Research into sight loss has been given a major funding boost by Scotland’s largest visual impairment charity.  

Royal Blind has awarded funding of nearly £160,000 towards four projects in a bid to help prevent, treat and cure conditions that can lead to blindness.

Today there are around 188,000 people living with sight loss in Scotland. This figure is set to double by 2031 to almost 400,000 people - in line with population ageing.

Royal Blind has run its ophthalmology research funding scheme through the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh since 2014 and has now renewed the programme for a further three years.

Chief executive, Mark O’Donnell said: “We are delighted to be working with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh again to fund more world-class research. 

“The personal and societal cost of sight loss is huge and we want to ensure that, as well as providing high-quality services in Scotland across the age ranges, we also support leading scientists in finding new ways to tackle and treat conditions”.

Each year £170,000 is available for a small grants scheme for projects up to £10,000 and a large grants scheme for grants between £10,000 and £60,000. Any money left over is carried forward to the following financial year.

The four projects that are being funded in 2017 look at gene therapy, approaches to retinal surgery, retinoblastoma treatment and research into new treatments for glaucoma.

Professor Steve Wigmore, chair of the Ophthalmology Research Committee for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, added: “Royal Blind plays a pivotal role in funding internationally competitive research in eye disease that has clear benefits for patients in Scotland and further afield.

“The college are delighted that Royal Blind has renewed its commitment to support this extremely important research.”