Sharon Colle, President and CEO

A Message From The President & CEO

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the new Foundation Fighting Blindness website. Here, you can:

  • Learn about eye diseases and vision health
  • Discover the latest sight-saving research
  • Join our national fundraisers: Ride for Sight, Comic Vision, and Cycle for Sight

For over 40 years, the Foundation has supported research aimed at preserving and restoring vision to people living with blinding eye diseases. Thanks to committed donors, sponsors, scientists and clinicians, new sight-saving treatments are being tested around the world (and right here in Canada).

Our community of supporters continues to grow stronger and more determined. We hope you will join the fight against blindness!

Thank you for visiting!

Sharon Colle
President & CEO
The Foundation Fighting Blindness

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is a group of volunteers committed to the Foundation’s mission to find a cure for retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration and related diseases of the retina. The Board includes representatives from the corporate and medical worlds, as well as individuals affected by vision loss.

Executive Committee & Officers

Andrew Burke, Chair
Partner, Steward McKelvey
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Joe Grech, Vice-Chair
Vancouver, British Columbia

Rahn Dodick, Treasurer
President, Dodick, Landau, Inc.
Toronto, Ontario

Malcolm Hunter, Corporate Secretary
President, Fred Deeley Limited
Vancouver, British Columbia

Tara James, Executive Officer
Senior Counsel, BMO Financial Group
Toronto, Ontario

Robert F. Richards, Executive Officer
Chairman, Heathbridge Capital Management Ltd.
Toronto, Ontario

Catherine Tillmann, Executive Officer
Director of Brand Image, Corporate Marketing, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (retired)
Toronto, Ontario


Stephen Aylward
Lawyer, Stockwoods LLP
Toronto, Ontario

Michel Cayouette, PhD
Research Unit Director, Institut de recherche cliniques de Montreal (IRCM)
Research Associate Professor, University of Montreal
Montreal, Quebec

David Drury
Managing Director, IBM Canada Ltd.
Toronto, Ontario

Jane Humphreys
Toronto, Ontario

Peter J. Kertes, MD, FRCSC
Vitreo-retinal surgeon/Ophthalmologist-in-Chief, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Professor of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences, University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario

Donald F. Reed
President and CEO, Franklin Templeton Investments Corp. (retired)
Toronto, Ontario

Mike Seed, CIM
First Vice President & Portfolio Manager, Seed Financial Group, CIBC Wood Gundy
Edmonton, Alberta

George Sheen
Partner, PwC (retired)
Toronto, Ontario

Rob Simmons
Vice President, Finance & Business Affairs, Atomic Cartoons
Vancouver, British Columbia

Raymond M. Stein, MD, FRCSC
Medical Director, Bochner Eye Institute
Toronto, Ontario

Deborah Tennant
Toronto, Ontario

Scientific Advisory Board

The Foundation Fighting Blindness Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is a group of highly qualified and committed volunteers. These scientists bring a wide range of expertise to the FFB’s scientific decision-making in genetics, molecular genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and cell biology. All are actively engaged in sight-saving research.

The SAB is responsible for evaluating research applications submitted to the FFB’s annual grant competition(s).

SAB members also aid in promoting retinal disease research amongst the scientific community and support the quality and accuracy of our educational programs and materials. Rigorous review for scientific merit by the SAB ensures that dollars donated to the FFB are used to fund the most productive and promising research projects, addressing crucial questions about the causes and treatment of retinal degenerative diseases. Thanks to the guidance of our scientific advisory boards, past and present, scientists funded by the FFB have consistently accomplished their research goals and have been responsible for major research breakthroughs.


Michel Cayouette, PhD (Chair)
Professor and Director of the Cellular Neurobiology Research Unit, Gaëtane and Roland Pillenière Chair in Retina Research, Montreal Clinical Research Institite (IRCM)
Research Professor, Université de Montréal
Adjunct Professor, McGill University

Robin Ali, PhD
Professor of Human Molecular Genetics, University College London

Seth Blackshaw, PhD
Professor of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Sylvain Chemtob, MD, PhD
Professor, Pediatrics, Ophthalmology and Pharmacology, University of Montreal
Canada Research Chair in Vision, Tier 1

Bob Chow, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Victoria

David Gamm, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, RRF Emmett A. Humble Distinguished Director, McPherson Eye Research Institute, Waisman Center Stem Cell Research Program

Tony Moore, FRCOphth, FMedSci
Michal Vilensky Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology
UCSF School of Medicine
San Francisco

Przemyslaw (Mike) Sapieha, Ph.D.
Wolfe Professorship in Translational Vision Research 2016
Associate Professor, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Research Centre, University of Montreal

Carol Schuurmans, PhD
Senior scientist, Dixon Family Chair in Ophthalmology, Sunnybrook Research Institute

Janey Wiggs, MD, PhD
Paul Austin Chandler Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
Vice Chair and Associate Chief, Ophthalmology Clinical Research; Associate Director, Ocular Genomics Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard University

Don Zack, MD, PhD
Co-director, Johns Hopkins Center for Stem Cells and Ocular Regenerative Medicine (STORM), Johns Hopkins Medicine

Dr. Mary Sunderland
Mary Sunderland, PhD (non-voting member)
Director of Research & Education for the Foundation Fighting Blindness