Research into the
Causes and Treatment of Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Established from a visionary gift by Michigan businessman and philanthropist James Grosfeld. Please see the bottom of this page for a biography of this remarkable man.
A comprehensive dry AMD research initiative at the Kellogg Eye Center that includes funding for an RPE culture facility, research equipment, trainee support, collaborative projects, education, faculty support, and seed funding for both basic science and clinical research
Phased implementation starting in 2022 and going until 2027
This facility produces highly polarized, well-differentiated primary and induced pluripotent stem-cell (iPSC) derived human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) for dry AMD research, initially available to University of Michigan researchers. The goal is to minimize the expertise, time, and significant costs for each lab to produce high-quality RPE for experimentation. Depending on need, future efforts may be directed towards iPSC-derived choroidal endothelium and/or retinal organoids.
Education and Trainee Support
A section of Grosfeld Initiative funds are dedicated to supporting trainees doing dry AMD research. Other funds are dedicated to supporting the exchange of research findings both at national meetings and via local hosting of conferences.
Funding for Feasibility Studies and Collaborations
Starting in 2023, small seed grant funds will be available to quickly test feasibility of a new idea or technique without the burden of a large grant application. Also starting in 2023, two-year long grants will be available for facilitating collaborations between labs outside of ophthalmology with technique expertise and labs with AMD research expertise.
Accumulating through 2027, funds will be used for purchase of major research equipment that will allow us to answer AMD research questions with new techniques.
Starting in 2023, funds will be available for clinical projects related to dry AMD. Possibilities include testing of promising therapeutic candidates in pre-clinical models, gene discovery in patients with unusual AMD phenotypes, and collecting and annotating clinical images to discover better biomarkers for AMD progression.
and Research Support
The Grosfeld Initiative includes two Professorship Chairs as well as direct funds for supporting staff scientist efforts in dry AMD. On Professorship Chair has yet to be awarded, and the Advisory Board will strongly consider dry AMD research needs prior to awarding this Professorship.
A Video Overview of the Grosfeld Initiative
Businessman, Investor, Philanthropist
James Grosfeld was born in New York City in 1937. He received his B.A. from Amherst College in 1959 and L.L.B. from Columbia Law School in 1962.