Posts By: Dr. Mary Sunderland

Inaugural Recipient of the Restore Vision 20/20 Award Announced!

September 12th, 2018 by Dr. Mary Sunderland

There is no doubt that funding vision research is the surest path to developing new sight-saving treatments – just ask our Scientific Advisory Board. September 5, 2018 was a very special day for all of us at the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB): we hosted our annual Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meeting, which brings together world-renowned…

Read More

RNA Therapies for Inherited Retinal Diseases (IRDs)

May 1st, 2018 by Dr. Mary Sunderland

I recently participated in a tremendously inspiring meeting, hosted by ProQR, which is a company that is creating new treatments for people living with rare diseases, including blinding eye diseases. ProQR specializes in developing RNA therapeutics, and I was there to learn about a new clinical trial that they are planning to treat the inherited…

Read More

Stem cell therapy for vision loss: Will it work for you?

March 23rd, 2018 by Dr. Mary Sunderland

In 2015, after a flurry of stem cell developments were profiled in the media, I wrote this story to help answer one of the most popular questions that we receive about stem cell therapies for blindness and sight loss: will they work for you and for your eye disease? On March 19, 2018, the results…

Read More

First gene therapy for a blinding eye disease receives FDA approval

December 19th, 2017 by Dr. Mary Sunderland

Today we are celebrating the FDA’s pathbreaking approval of Luxturna. We have been following the development of Luxturna closely. Today’s landmark FDA approval makes Luxturna the first gene therapy approved in the US that targets a disease caused by mutations in a specific gene. The next steps involve determining the price for Luxturna, which poses…

Read More

Top 10 Things We Learned at Vision Quest 2017

November 7th, 2017 by Dr. Mary Sunderland

Vision Quest is the FFB’s educational program series that brings trusted information about emerging sight-saving treatments to people living with vision loss. This year, Vision Quest brought together more than 860 people at 9 different events across Canada. The entire FFB staff participates in Vision Quest because it gives us the opportunity to learn directly…

Read More

FDA Panel Votes Unanimously to Approve New Gene Therapy

October 13th, 2017 by Dr. Mary Sunderland

History was made on World Sight Day, October 12, 2017, when an FDA advisory panel voted unanimously to approve a new gene therapy, Luxturna, designed to treat inherited blinding eye diseases caused by mutations in the RPE65 gene. We have been following this story closely over the past few years and celebrating every milestone along…

Read More

Gene Therapy Improves Vision in Landmark Clinical Trial

July 14th, 2017 by Dr. Mary Sunderland

Yesterday, a landmark publication in The Lancet, a prestigious journal, showed that gene therapy can improve vision in people living with a rare blinding eye disease. The study examined the effects of an experimental gene therapy – voretigene neparvovec – to treat an inherited blinding eye disease caused by mutations in the RPE65 gene. RPE65…

Read More

4 Big Predictions for Vision Research in 2017

January 10th, 2017 by Dr. Mary Sunderland

Last year was full of remarkable developments in vision science. Important discoveries in stem cell biology filled in key knowledge gaps, while advancements in gene therapy moved optogenetics from the realm of science fiction to reality (check out our top 10 discoveries from 2016). Here are four key developments to look forward to in 2017….

Read More

New Gene-editing Tool Restores Partial Vision in Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa

November 18th, 2016 by Dr. Mary Sunderland

At the beginning of 2016, I predicted CRISPR would be one of the key areas to follow throughout the year. I was right! This week delivered another CRISPR-fueled breakthrough that is making headlines. Scientists have created a new gene-editing tool that can be used in conjunction with CRISPR to edit adult cells in live animals…

Read More